KANSAS CITY, Missouri– Ryan Merritt retired the final 13 batters he faced in five strong innings in his first big league start, Francisco Lindor hit a three-run homer as the Cleveland Indians defeated the Kansas City Royals 7-2 Friday night.
Merritt (1-0) gave up a run on three hits in the first, but nothing after that. Merritt, who had made three relief appearances after being promoted Sept. 11 from Triple-A Columbus, threw 62 pitches, striking out four and walking none.
Lindor, who snapped an 0-for-29 drought with a double in a four-run third, homered off the left-field foul pole with pinch runner Michael Martinez and Carlos Santana aboard in the seventh.
Santana, who had three hits, tripled in two runs in the fourth and scored on Jason Kipnis’ sacrifice fly. Jose Ramirez singled with two outs to score Lindor.
Yordano Ventura (11-12) gave up four runs and six hits with three walks while striking out eight in six innings.