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Indians drown Royals in dingers

Roberto Pérez hit a home run in the year of our lord 2020

Cleveland Indians v Kansas City Royals Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Kansas City starting pitcher Matt Harvey proved to be the cure for what ails the Cleveland Indians’ anemic offense, as the Tribe tagged him for five runs en route to a 10-1 road win over the Royals.

Harvey, making his third start of the season for Kansas City, wasn’t fooling anyone. Take a gander at how he fared against the Indians’ lineup before getting pulled in the second inning:

Exit velocities versus Matt Harvey Baseball Savant

He had no feel for his change-up, command of his four-seamer was all over the place, and the Tribe teed off on his slider. Francisco Lindor was the first to take Harvey deep, taking advantage of a fastball down the middle to give the Indians a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Franmil Reyes followed with a solo shot, the start of a night in which he went 5-for-5 and came a triple short of the cycle.

It did not matter who took the mound for the Royals. Reyes feasted.

Franmil Reyes vs Royals Baseball Savant

Roberto Pérez, perhaps feeling the heat from the Tribe’s acquisition of Austin Hedges and his 63 wRC+, went yard for his first home run of the season. Bebo’s two-run shot in the second inning extended the Indians’ lead to 5-0, and Harvey departed three batters later.

The Indians scratched across another run in the sixth before opening up the floodgates — literally and figuratively — after a brief rain delay in the seventh. Tyler Naquin delivered a sac fly to score Carlos Santana from third, continuing his recent run of success at the plate. Josh Naylor, making his Tribe debut, dropped a single into center to score Reyes, his former teammate in San Diego. Then Pérez added an RBI double to bring Naylor home.

José Ramírez crushed a solo homer in the eighth to give the Tribe an even 10.

It was more than enough run support for Zach Plesac, who is looking to win back the support of the clubhouse after being optioned to the alternate training site for violating the league’s COVID-19 protocols. His outing against Kansas City was a good start to the healing process, surrendering four hits and one earned run and striking out six over six innings of work. Plesac’s breaking pitches were especially lethal, as the Royals struggled to put a barrel to his change-up and slider.

His lone mistake of the night was a fastball to Hunter Dozier.

Right-handed reliever Cal Quantrill also made his Tribe debut, pitching the final two frames. True to form, he relied heavily on his slider and sinker, recording two strikeouts. Six of the eight batters Quantrill faced put the ball in play, including an eighth inning Jorge Soler flyout with a 102.2 mph exit velocity and a high fastball to Maikel Franco that was drilled to the right field wall for a double in the ninth. The rest were relatively weak contact.