CLEVELAND — The defending American League champions took a hit Tuesday night, but they weren’t down for long.
Kendry Morales’ three-run homer capped a six-run seventh inning and the Kansas City Royals pounded out a season-high 18 hits to beat the Cleveland Indians 11-5 .
Kansas City’s big inning came after Cleveland had taken a 5-3 lead on Brandon Moss’ three-run homer in the sixth, but these Royals are playing like a team that plans on doing big things again this season.
"The whole vibe is not to give up," Morales said through a translator. "The vibe on the bench and in the locker room is not to give up."
Not only did the Royals respond immediately after falling behind, they quickly put the game away.
"The offense came right back and put a big six-spot on the board, which was great to see," manager Ned Yost said.
While there were plenty of smiles on the Royals’ side, the mood was much different in the Indians’ clubhouse. Cleveland manager Terry Francona met with his team for a pep talk following Monday’s defeat, but the Indians, who have dropped four straight, lost for the eighth time in 11 games.
Cleveland (6-13) has the worst record in the American League and the worst home mark (1-6) in the majors.
"Something has to change real soon," said Trevor Bauer, who allowed three runs in six innings after missing his last start because of food poisoning.
Alcides Escobar’s two-run double off Scott Atchison (0-1) tied the game. Escobar scored the go-ahead run from second on Mike Moustakas’ infield hit and Morales later hit his third homer of the season to dead center off Bryan Shaw.
Brandon Finnegan (1-0) picked up his first career win despite allowing Moss’ home run.
Alex Gordon homered and drove in two runs for the Royals. .
Bauer was in line for his third straight win, but Cleveland’s bullpen gave up eight runs over the final three innings.
Gordon’s leadoff homer in the second gave Kansas City the lead. Michael Bourn’s two-run single in the bottom of the inning put Cleveland ahead. Omar Infante’s single tied the game in the fourth before Gordon’s single in the sixth put the Royals ahead.
Kansas City’s go-ahead run in the seventh came after Escobar’s double tied the game. Escobar then showed off his speed by scoring from second on an infield hit.
"It’s a great piece of hitting and a tremendous piece of baserunning after that," Yost said.
Finnegan, who pitched well down the stretch for the Royals last season after being called up from the minors, allowed one run in one inning. Chris Young, Jason Frasor and Yohan Pino all worked a scoreless inning.
Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie allowed four runs in five-plus innings.
Young will start Friday against Detroit, taking the turn of suspended RHP Edinson Volquez. The 35-year-old Young has worked exclusively in relief, posting a 1-0 record and 2.08 ERA in four appearances.
Royals: RHP Greg Holland (right pectoral strain) could be activated off the DL when he is eligible on May 3. The two-time All-Star closer threw 15 pitches off a mound before the game. Holland played catch Sunday and Monday with no pain.
Indians: Nick Swisher (surgery on both knees) continued his minor league rehab at Triple-A Columbus with two hits and two RBIs as the DH on Tuesday. He could rejoin the Indians next week.
Royals: RHP Yordano Ventura, who is appealing his seven-game suspension for his involvement in a brawl against the White Sox last week, makes his fifth start of the season.
Indians: RHP Danny Salazar will try to match a career-high three-game winning streak. He struck out a career-best 11 and held Detroit to one run in seven innings on Friday.