Indians lose to Royals after losing Ramírez with broken hand
CLEVELAND (AP) — Ryan O’Hearn led off the 10th inning with his second homer of the game, sending the Kansas City Royals to a wild 9-8 win Sunday over the Cleveland Indians, whose playoff hopes were rocked by losing third baseman Jose Ramírez to a broken right hand.
O’Hearn hit a 2-2 pitch from Nick Goody (3-1) over the right field wall as the Royals salvaged a back-and-forth series finale to snap a four-game losing streak. O’Hearn also homered in the third off Indians starter Shane Bieber.
Royals reliever Jorge López worked the 10th for his first major league save.
Losing the game was secondary to the Indians, who will be without Ramírez for their playoff push. The two-time All-Star will undergo surgery Monday in New York to repair a fractured hamate bone, and the club won’t know his recovery time until after the procedure.
However, Ramírez, who awakened from a puzzling, early-season offensive slump in time to propel the Indians back into postseason contention, won’t be able to help as his teammates try to catch first-place Minnesota in the AL Central or win a wild-card spot.
Trailing by four runs and down to their final strike, the Indians tied it against Kennedy.
Lindor homered with one out before Kennedy walked Carlos Santana with two outs and gave up a single to Yasiel Puig.
Kennedy’s wild pitch moved the runners up and Reyes, whose homer leading off the eighth pulled Cleveland to 8-4, brought them home with a 423-foot shot to left, rewarding Indians fans who hung around after the team fell behind 8-3 in the eighth.
Kansas City had busted open a 3-3 game with a five-run eighth, triggered by shortstop Lindor’s error and highlighted by Jorge Soler‘s two-run homer — a 437-foot drive.
Kevin Plawecki hit a two-run homer for Cleveland. The Indians came in 2½ games out in the division and clinging to a half-game lead in the wild-card race.
Bieber shook off a wobbly first few innings and stuck around for seven. After allowing the homer to O’Hearn in the third, the All-Star Game MVP retired his final 13 batters, recording seven of his eight strikeouts in that span.
Rookie infielder Yu Chang stepped in for Ramírez and got his first two major league hits.
Chang made an immediate impact after being recalled from Triple-A Columbus when the Indians put Ramírez on the injured list.
He opened the seventh with a triple off Royals reliever Scott Barlow. The drive caromed at an odd angle off the center field wall, and for a moment it appeared Chang might have a chance for an inside-the-park homer before he was held at third by coach Mike Sarbaugh.
As he pulled into the bag, Chang was met with cries of “Yuuuuu” from Indians fans still coming to grips with the stunning loss of Ramírez — the latest obstacle for the three-time defending AL Central champions who have had numerous major injuries in 2019.
Royals starter Eric Skoglund was sharp in his season debut, allowing only two hits in five innings. The left-hander was suspended for the first 80 games for violating Major League Baseball’s drug prevention and treatment program.
Royals: SS Adalberto Mondesi (dislocated left shoulder) has played six games on a minor league rehab assignment, but no timetable has been set for his return. He was injured diving for a foul ball on July 16.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco was scheduled to pitch in relief for Triple-A Columbus as he continues his comeback after being diagnosed with leukemia. Carrasco could potentially join Cleveland’s bullpen in the next few weeks.
Royals: Open a 10-game homestand, their longest of the season, with RHP Brad Keller (7-13, 3.95 ERA) on the mound against Oakland.
Indians: Following an off day, RHP Adam Plutko (5-3, 4.54) starts the opener of a three-game series Tuesday in Detroit against Spencer Turnbull (3-12, 4.05).
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