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Cleveland rocks Royals in 14-6 blowout

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No walk-off needed

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland did not need ninth-inning heroics to record their third straight win over Kansas City, scoring more than enough runs by the final frame to retire the Royals, 14-6.

Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Cleveland went to work against Kansas City starter Mike Minor. José Ramírez drew a leadoff walk and Franmil Reyes followed with a single. Ramírez came around to score on an RBI double for Bobby Bradley, though third base coach Mike Sarbaugh made the ill-advised decision to wave home Reyes, who was thrown out at the plate thanks to a pair of excellent relay throws. Harold Ramirez singled to put runners at first and third. With two outs, Oscar Mercado tied the score on an RBI single. Bradley Zimmer chopped an infield single through the legs of Minor, allowing Ramirez to score and give Cleveland a 3-2 lead.

Cesar Hernandez delivered the pièce de résistance of the inning, crushing a three-run homer to left-center on the first pitch to put Cleveland ahead 6-2. They were able to tack on an insurance run in the fifth inning, with José Ramírez scoring from third on a double play. Roberto Pérez contributed a solo shot in the fifth, followed by an RBI double for Amed Rosario to make it 9-3.

But Cleveland’s bullpen nearly came undone in the top of seventh inning. Nick Sandlin, stepping in for Cal Quantrill, loaded the bases with no outs, thanks in part to a replay review that overturned an out at second because Cesar Hernandez failed to touch the bag. The Royals plated a pair of runs with an RBI groundout and a sac fly, cutting the deficit to 9-5. Bryan Shaw took over for Sandlin and promptly walked Carlos Santana before giving up an RBI single to Andrew Benintendi, who snuck a slow grounder past Hernandez. Sebastian Rivero grounded out to end the inning.

Cleveland responded in kind in the bottom of the inning, scoring four more runs to extend their lead to 13-6. Roberto Pérez started the scoring with an RBI single before Oscar Mercado came to the plate and launched a three-run homer into the left field bleachers.

José Ramírez made it an even 14 runs with a solo home run in the eighth inning.

On the mound, Cal Quantrill pitched well enough for Cleveland. In his longest outing of the season, he allowed five hits, one walk, and three earned runs over six innings of work. Quantrill gave up plenty of hard hit balls, but only a handful of them were able to inflict damage on the scoreboard. He hung a slider to Salvador Perez in the fourth inning and the Royals’ catcher thanked him for it by depositing a two-run homer into the left field bleachers. Then in the sixth inning he piped a 3-2 fastball down Main Street to Benintendi for a solo home run.

Cleveland will look to complete the four-game sweep tomorrow before heading into the break.