CLEVELAND — Andrés Giménez hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning off rookie Collin Snider, sending the Cleveland Guardians to a 7-3 win over the injury-riddled Kansas City Royals on Monday night.
Giménez's shot to center field off Snider (3-2) scored pinch-runner Ernie Clement and rookie Oscar Gonzalez, who singled in the inning to make up for a gaffe earlier when he threw the ball into the stands with two outs.
José Ramírez hit his 13th homer and drove in three more runs for the Guardians, raising his major league-leading total to 51 RBIs.
Nick Sandlin (4-2) got the win in relief.
Emmanuel Rivera homered for the Royals, who rallied in the eighth but couldn't stop from falling to 16-31 — the AL's worst record. Before the game, Kansas City made roster moves involving eight players.
Guardians starter Zach Plesac was in line to improve to 7-0 in 11 starts against the Royals before Kansas City rallied in the eighth.
After Eli Morgan replaced Plesac and set down Kansas City in order in the seventh, Cleveland manager Terry Francona elected to bring in Trevor Stephan. The right-hander didn’t get an out, allowing three straight hits, including back-to-back RBI doubles by Whit Merrifield and Andrew Benintendi that tied it 3-3.
But in Cleveland's half, Josh Naylor drew a one-out walk off Snider, and Gonzalez singled to right before Giménez drove a 3-2 sinker from Snider over the wall in straightaway center for his fifth homer.
The Guardians tacked on a fourth run on a throwing error by Royals rookie shortstop Bobby Witt Jr.
Cleveland's win should help soften the grief Gonzalez may get from teammates after his bone-headed play.
With the Guardians leading 3-1 in the sixth and a runner at first, Gonzalez, who made his major league debut last week in Detroit, ran down Salvador Perez's slicing drive with a nice catch in the right-field corner.
After making the grab, Gonzalez casually flipped the ball to a fan in the seats, thinking the inning was over. Upon realizing his mistake, Gonzalez crouched like a catcher and bit the top of his glove.
Benintendi was awarded two bases on Gonzalez's the error, but Plesac buckled down and struck out MJ Melendez to end the threat.
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