CLEVELAND — Bobby Bradley homered leading off the ninth inning as the Cleveland Indians overcame some brutal baserunning that led to manager Terry Francona's ejection for a 2-1 win over the Kansas City Royals.
Bradley drove a 1-2 pitch from Jake Brentz (2-2) over the wall in right-center as the Indians (44-42) got their second straight walk-off win, touching off a wild celebration in Progressive Field. On Thursday, Franmil Reyes' three-run homer in the ninth ended Cleveland's nine-game losing streak.
James Karinchak got his second win in two nights, steering around a leadoff double in the ninth. Triston McKenzie also came back up from Columbus and made his case for a permanent rotation spot, striking out nine over seven brilliant shutout innings.
Bradley Zimmer drove home Reyes to give the Tribe a 1-0 lead in the second inning before Jorge Soler homered for the Royals (36-52) to tie it in the eighth. It was in the bottom of the latter frame where things got downright bizarre: With runners at the corners and nobody out, Amed Rosario hit a ball to short that got Daniel Johnson in a rundown between third and home. The rookie was able to scamper back to third, but Cesar Hernandez came all the way from first and slid into the same bag, and both runners were called out on a controversial double play.
Francona came out to argue, claiming Hernandez should've been safe since Johnson was tagged first only after he had come off the base. The Cleveland skipper was ejected for the first time this season, and the blunder killed a potential rally that was only remedied by Bradley's ninth-inning blast.
With two wins in a row for the first time since June 21, the Indians now have just two matchups left before the All-Star break, both against Kansas City. Cal Quantrill (0-2, 4.20 ERA) will start Saturday evening for the Tribe against Mike Minor (6-7, 5.36).