CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians ended their final home stand in the month of August in grand fashion against the Kansas City Royals Sunday afternoon.
After scoring three times in the first inning, the Indians (73-56) plated nine runs in the bottom of the second, and then, breezed their way to a 12-0 win over the Royals (64-65) in front of the home fans at Progressive Field.
The Royals are in the midst of a 34-inning scoreless streak, and the Indians’ pitching staff has not allowed a run in 28 consecutive frames.
The three consecutive shutouts of the Royals was a first for the Indians since the 1956 season, when they accomplished the same feat against the Washington Senators.
With the win over the Royals, the Indians maintained a 6.5-game lead over the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central Division standings. Now, the Royals are nine games in back of the Indians and sit in third place in the division.
Shortstop Francisco Lindor got the offense going in the first inning with a lead-off walk, and then, moved into scoring position when left fielder Austin Jackson singled to left field. Second baseman Jose Ramirez followed with an RBI double to left field that brought around Lindor.
Designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion brought around Jackson with an RBI groundout to second base. Two batters later, right fielder Brandon Guyer knocked in the Indians’ third run of the game with a single to left field off of Royals starter Eric Skogland, and the offensive onslaught continued in the second inning.
Catcher Yan Gomes led off the second inning with a single to left field, and Lindor followed with a home run to center.
Then, Jackson smacked a double into the left-field corner, and two batters later, Encarnacion drew a walk on just five pitches, which forced Skogland from the game in favor of Onelki Garcia, but he did not fare much better than Kansas City’s starter.
Garcia immediately surrendered a two-run home run to first baseman Carlos Santana that hit off of the foul pole in left field, and the damage got worse as the next five batters reached safely.
Guyer and center fielder Bradley Zimmer got infield singles to second base, which bookended a walk to third baseman Yandy Diaz. Then, on an 0-1 pitch from Garcia, Gomes smashed a pitch into the bleacher seats in left field for a grand slam.
With the offense giving him plenty of support, Indians starter Carlos Carrasco threw seven strong innings, scattering six hits and striking out eight batters on the way to his 13th win of the season. Carrasco, who wore his nickname, “Cookie,” on the back of his jersey for his outing during Players Weekend, located the strike zone with 62 of his 83 pitches on the day.
Including Sunday’s victory, the Indians won five of their seven games against the Royals and Boston Red Sox on the homestand that closed out over the weekend.
Now, the Indians begin an 11-day road trip, starting with a three-game series against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx before back-to-back four-game sets against AL Central Division foes in the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox.
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