Reyes hits 3-run homer, leads Indians to 4-2 win over Royals
Yet Reyes and his teammates weren’t in the mood to celebrate Saturday’s victory over Kansas City because it might have come with a significant loss.
Ramirez, a two-time All-Star, exited in the first inning after fouling off a pitch and underwent an MRI to determine the severity of his condition. The Indians initially termed it “discomfort” and will update his status Sunday.
“We’re really sad because Jose is a happy guy and you guys know that we definitely need him,” said Reyes, who hit 27 of his 30 homers with San Diego before being acquired in a July 31 trade.
“We need his defense, we need his offense, and he’s a great guy. It seemed like he was in a lot of pain. We don’t know what’s going to happen, but I hope everything is good.”
Cleveland manager Terry Francona said Ramirez has been dealing with a sore wrist, but the injury occurred in a different area of the joint. The 26-year-old was not wearing a protective brace in the clubhouse and did not speak with the media.
“We took him over to get imaged and we want everybody to see (the results), just to make sure that we get the proper read on it,” Francona said. “We don’t know a ton yet.”
Ramirez is batting .254 with 20 homers and 75 RBIs in 126 games. Utilityman Mike Freeman replaced him and had two hits and an RBI, while infielder Yu Chang was pulled from the lineup at Triple-A Columbus in preparation for a call-up.
“To be honest, I was a little panicked when it happened,” Freeman said. “You certainly never want to see a guy like Jose get hurt under any circumstances.”
With the win, the Indians moved ahead of Tampa Bay into one of the two AL wild-card spots.
Mike Clevinger (9-2) struck out eight and allowed one run over 5 2/3 innings, improving to 4-0 at home this year. The right-hander is 9-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 14 career outings against the Royals.
Brad Hand worked a scoreless ninth for his 31st save. It was his second save in as many nights after three straight blown saves.
Royals right-hander Glenn Sparkman (3-9) gave up four runs in 4 1/3 innings, extending his winless streak to seven starts. Kansas City is a season-high 40 games under .500.
Royals 3B Cheslor Cuthbert doubled in the sixth to end a 0-for-40 slump that dropped his average from .293 to .253. His previous hit was a two-run homer on August 8 at Detroit.
“It was good to see him get a hit and get that behind him,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Cuthbert walked in the fourth and scored Kansas City’s first run on a Meibrys Viloria double.
Indians RHP Corey Kluber will have his strained oblique re-examined Tuesday, but manager Terry Francona declined to offer a timetable for his return. The two-time AL Cy Young Award winner has been on the injured list since May 2 with a broken forearm and suffered the abdominal strain in an August 18 rehab start for Triple-A Columbus.
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy (left hamstring strain) will make one rehab start Sunday for Double-A Northwest Arkansas before rejoining Kansas City’s rotation. “It’s just to get his feet back under him in a competitive situation,” manager Ned Yost said.
Indians: OF Bradley Zimmer (right shoulder surgery), who has been on the injured list since March, shifts his rehab assignment to Triple-A Columbus on Monday. The younger brother of Royals RHP Kyle Zimmer played in four games for Double-A Akron.
Royals: LHP Eric Skoglund makes his first appearance in the majors since Sept. 30, 2018. He went 2-4 with a 6.14 ERA in 11 starts for Triple-A Omaha after being suspended for the first 80 games of the season for a violation of the MLB drug policy.
Indians: RHP Shane Bieber (12-6, 3.26 ERA) has lost consecutive starts for the first time this season, allowing two earned runs in six innings against both the Red Sox and Mets. The All-Star Game MVP is 3-0 in four career starts against the Royals.