Indians hit 4 homers, blank Royals 7-0 for 4-game sweep
CLEVELAND (AP) The wait was worth it for the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.
''It ended up being a good day, other than it was long,'' manager Terry Francona said after his team completed a four-game sweep of the World Series champion Kansas City Royals with a rain-delayed 7-0 victory. ''It's a heck of a lot better when you're up than when you're down.''
Francisco Lindor hit one of Cleveland's four solo homers and drove in three runs. Corey Kluber (5-6) allowed two hits and was pulled after six innings when the game was delayed by inclement weather for 3 hours, 10 minutes.
Lindor, Carlos Santana and rookie Tyler Naquin homered in the fifth. Mike Napoli connected in the fourth.
The Indians moved past the Royals into first place in the AL Central on Saturday. Cleveland has won five straight overall and six of seven against Kansas City this season.
''They were ahead of us,'' Napoli said. ''You want to win the series, but we put ourselves in a position to sweep. We had a good day today.''
Cleveland swept four games from the Royals for the first time since Aug. 11-14, 2006. The Indians are 18-11 against the AL Central this season.
The game was stopped after Kluber retired the side in the sixth. Heavy rain began to fall at 2:41 p.m. and lasted about an hour. The tarp remained on the field because more rain was expected, but showers didn't return until around 5 p.m. and fell heavily for about 30 minutes. The game finally resumed at 5:51 p.m.
Kluber, who gave up both hits in the first, struck out six and retired 13 of the final 14 batters he faced.
''Obviously, you'd like to keep going when you're feeling good,'' he said. ''You pitch the situation to the game. I'm not trying to get innings any quicker because the weather is coming up.''
Chris Young (2-6) allowed all four home runs in his first start since May 9. The Royals managed three hits off three Cleveland pitchers.
Kansas City came into the series with a six-game winning streak, but lost the opener when Cleveland scored two runs in the ninth. The Royals were outscored 20-2 in the final three games.
''It's one of those weekends,'' manager Ned Yost said. ''We're coming off an undefeated homestand where we pitched great. We just didn't play well here.''
Naquin, who has homered in three straight games, led off the fifth with a drive that landed in the second deck in right field. Santana homered with one out, and Lindor's home run came with two outs.
Lindor had a sacrifice fly in the first and an RBI single in the seventh.
The Indians hit four home runs in a game for the first time this season. Cleveland last hit three homers in an inning on July 29, 2015.
The Indians began the homestand by losing two of three to Baltimore and Texas. Outfielder Marlon Byrd was suspended 162 games Wednesday for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
The Indians regrouped to win the final five games before starting a 10-game trip in Seattle on Monday.
''I don't look back very far,'' Francona said. ''The last game is a hard game to win. Now we turn the page really quick, but the more you win, the more fun and interesting the next game gets.''
Royals: OF Brett Eibner (sprained left ankle) took part in running and agility drills in the outfield Sunday morning. He was injured Tuesday and placed on the 15-day disabled list the following day.
Indians: RHP Joba Chamberlain (left intercostal strain) will be activated from the 15-day DL prior to Monday's game in Seattle.
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy (1-0) makes his fifth start and 21st appearance in the opener of a three-game series at Baltimore.
Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer (3-2) is winless in five career appearances against Seattle, where Cleveland opens a four-game series.