Hammel solid as Royals hammer Carrasco, Indians 12-5
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Lorenzo Cain capped a six-run fifth inning with a two-run homer, Jason Hammel settled down after a shaky start and the Kansas City Royals routed the Cleveland Indians 12-5 on Saturday.
Whit Merrifield and Mike Moustakas had two-run doubles off Carlos Carrasco (5-3) during the Royals’ big inning, helping them overcome a 3-0 hole and ensure a series win over their division rival.
Hammel (2-6) gave up homers to Carlos Santana and Bradley Zimmer in the third, but he retired 15 of his next 17 batters before giving way to Mike Minor with two outs in the seventh.
Hammel struck out seven without a walk for his first win since beating Cleveland on May 5.
The Royals tacked on five more runs in the seventh against the best bullpen in the big leagues, a relief crew that entered the game with a 2.17 ERA. They were helped along by a pair of errors — only one run that inning was earned — in scoring their most runs in a game this season.
Santana added a two-run double in the eighth to finish with three RBIs for Cleveland.
Carrasco only allowed a lone single before Jorge Bonifacio and Brandon Moss led off the fifth with base hits. Merrifield followed with a sharply hit double to score the game’s first runs, extending his career-best hitting streak to 18 games — the best in the majors this season.
Carrasco then walked Alex Gordon. Two batters later, he served up a pitch that Moustakas swatted down the right-field line for a two-run double and a 4-0 lead.
Nick Goody relieved Carrasco, who was charged with five runs and five hits with two walks, and he promptly threw a pitch at the letters that Cain dumped into the fountains in left field.
The six-run inning matched the best by the Royals this season.
Indians INF/OF Lonnie Chisenhall was cleared to return to games after dealing with the effects of a concussion. He was starting in right field for Double-A Akron on Saturday.
SEE YA, SOLER
The Royals optioned struggling OF Jorge Soler to Triple-A Omaha and recalled speedy OF Billy Burns before the game. Soler was acquired from the Cubs in the offseason for All-Star closer Wade Davis.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ACE
Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura, who was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic this year, would have been 26 on Saturday. His presence is still felt by many in the organization.
“I’m generally the first one here. The clubhouse is pitch-black,” manager Ned Yost said, “so I’ll go over and turn on the lights, and I’ll walk around the clubhouse. I always kind of stop at his locker for a second and just look at the pictures. … We’re all reminded of him every single day.”
Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer follows his dominant effort against Oakland in the series finale Sunday. Bauer struck out a career-high 14 in seven innings against the A’s last week.
Royals: LHP Eric Skoglund tries to follow a dazzling big league debut Sunday. The 24-year-old gave up three hits over 6 1/3 innings in a 1-0 victory over the Tigers last week.