CLEVELAND (AP) — Corey Kluber took a shutout into the ninth, rookie Francisco Lindor hit a three-run homer and had a career-high four RBIs, and the Indians avoided a winless homestand with a 12-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.
Michael Brantley, Yan Gomes and rookie Giovanny Urshela hit solo homers for Cleveland, which had been outscored 37-10 in losing the first six games of the homestand. Michael Bourn was 4 for 5 as Cleveland had a season-high 18 hits.
Kluber (6-11) held Kansas City to five hits. The reigning Cy Young Award winner retired the first 12 batters before Eric Hosmer’s leadoff double in the fifth. Alex Rios’ RBI groundout in the ninth scored the Royals’ only run.
Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie allowed three home runs — all in the sixth inning — and hit three batters, including Brantley in the fifth. Brantley got even with his home run, which he admired from the batter’s box before slowly trotting around the bases.
Indians manager Terry Francona was ejected by plate umpire Tom Woodring after Brantley was hit in the leg. Francona was upset that Guthrie wasn’t ejected because Woodring had warned both benches after the Royals pitcher hit Jason Kipnis in the back in the second inning.
Kipnis exchanged words with catcher Drew Butera as he walked to first base. Guthrie also hit Yan Gomes with the bases loaded in the first.
The issues between the teams began Monday when Indians pitcher Cody Anderson hit Jarrod Dyson, prompting a warning to both dugouts.
The Royals, who had won 16 of 21, had beaten Kluber three times this season. But the right-hander struck out six and walked one Wednesday.
The Indians’ first-inning run gave them their first lead of the homestand. Cleveland hadn’t led since July 22 against Milwaukee, a stretch of 54 innings.