CLEVELAND (AP) – As Franmil Reyes waited in the circle on the bridge, he silently begged for a chance to end Cleveland’s losing streak.
He got his wish.
Reyes hit a three-run homerun with two strikeouts in the ninth inning as the Indians ended a nine-game losing streak – their longest under manager Terry Francona – with a 7-4 win over the Kansas Royals City Thursday night.
After Royals manager Mike Matheny chose to run reliever Greg Holland (2-4) over dangerous José Ramírez to place the runners in first and second row, Reyes headed for the plate with the intention to charge Kansas City.
“I went there almost like I was hoping they would come with José,” Reyes said. “I was like, ‘Please take him for a walk. Give me that shot. I want it. ‘And I get a pitch. Here it is. “
Reyes’ 14th homerun sparked a savage celebration by the Indians, who sprayed the hitter with water when he reached home plate. The victory eased a recent pain for the Indians, who were crumbling amid a multitude of injuries and little offense.
Before Reyes hit, Roberto Pérez won with a three-run homer in the eighth to give the Indians a 4-3 lead and new life.
“We’re not going to give up,” said Reyes, who recently returned after a long stint on the injured list and has scored three straight games. “You see there, we were losing, Bebo (Pérez) with the big home run. It shows you and everyone else that we are not going to give up. “
Carlos Santana scored twice for the Royals, his second shot tying 4-4 in the ninth over James Karinchak (5-2), who took the win after making a save.
Bobby Bradley also scored for the Indians, who won for the first time since June 28. For a while, it looked like Cleveland could extend their longest losing streak since an 11-man in 2012.
“I actually didn’t care how he won. Just the fact, we needed to win a game, ”said Francona, who has spent the entire season working on key injuries, including the loss of her top three starters. “And it was difficult to win. But we won it. “
With the Indians in dire need of a big hit, Pérez gave them one, connecting Scott Barlow to give Cleveland a 4-3 lead. After touring the bases, Pérez was encountered before reaching the dugout by several teammates.
But the euphoria didn’t last long as Santana, who played 10 seasons at Cleveland before signing with Kansas City as a free agent last winter, logged in for her second homeroom.
Hunter Dozier also scored for the Royals, who experienced their own slippage and lost 13 of 16.
Santana and Dozier connected for solo homers in Zach Plesac’s fourth, who returned from the Cleveland rotation injury list after bizarrely breaking his right thumb and missing nearly six weeks.
Plesac wasn’t bad, allowing three runs – two on home runs – and five hits in four innings as he tallied a pitch in his first start since May 23.
“It was good to find him,” Francona said.
Hey, a hit
The Indians were only hit by five Tampa pitchers in seven innings Wednesday in Game 2, while being swept away with a double header. They finally got their first hit in 11 innings in three games when Oscar Mercado led the third with a brace from Danny Duffy which was initially ruled as a foul but changed after a video review.
Cleveland has been on the wrong side of two other players without a hitting this season.
The southpaw was in contention for his first win since May 1 before the Indians rallied against the normally reliable Kansas City reliever box.
But Duffy was happy with his exit (one run in five innings) and feels stronger after missing some time with forearm strain.
“We just didn’t like it tonight,” he said. “But I’m going to pit our guys against anyone. We all trust each other and we’re going to get out of this little funk. “
CHANCES AND ENDS
The Indians have won six straight victories against the Royals. … Kansas have fallen to a high of 15 games under 0.500 and lost 25 of their last 32 games since June 5… Santana has had their 11th career two-homer game and their first since August 15, 2019 for the Indians. … Santana has 111 homers at Progressive Field, behind Jim Thome (190) and Manny Ramirez (132) for most in the stadium.
Royals: C Cam Gallagher (shoulder) started a rehab mission with Triple-A Omaha. He hasn’t played for Kansas City since June 16.
As the Indians continue to pitch on the fly due to injury, RHP Triston McKenzie will be recalled from Triple-A Columbus to start Friday’s game against Royals RHP Brad Keller.
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