Kipnis Hits Walk-Off Homer To Lift Indians
Cleveland improves to AL-best 15-6 in June
CLEVELAND — Jason Kipnis homered leading off the 10th inning as the Cleveland Indians continued their impressive June with a 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night in a game delayed 2 hours, 23 minutes by rain.
Kipnis connected on a 1-0 pitch from Wily Peralta (2-4), driving it into the right-field seats for his sixth homer. As the ball sailed into the stands, Kipnis dropped his bat, circled the bases and made a nifty spin move as neared the plate to avoid being splashed by teammate Francisco Lindor, who tried to soak him with a Gatorade cooler.
The Indians have won 14 of 19 and improved to an AL-best 15-6 this month.
Kipnis has been a big part of Cleveland’s early-summer surge. He’s batting .471 with four homers and 14 RBIs in his past nine games.
Brad Hand (4-2) worked a perfect 10th as Indians manager Terry Francona was forced to use six pitchers because of the weather.
Indians rookie slugger Bobby Bradley, who delivered an RBI double in his first major league at-bat after being recalled from Triple-A Columbus on Sunday, put the Indians up in the sixth with a run-scoring double.
Whit Merrifield homered for the Royals, who sit at the bottom of the AL Central.
With the score tied 1-1 in sixth, Jose Ramirez walked with two outs before Bradley hit a liner that split center fielder Billy Hamilton and right fielder Merrifield, who cut the ball off with a soggy, sliding stop near the warning track.
But Kansas City’s relay was not in time to get Ramirez, and Bradley, who was leading the International League in homers, celebrated at second by raising his arms and motioning toward his teammates in the dugout.
Blanked for three innings before the rain stoppage by Royals starter Brad Keller, the Indians tied it 1-all shortly after play resumed on back-to-back doubles by Santana and Ramirez, who is again showing signs of emerging from a baffling batting slump.
Ramirez has hiked his average up to .217, a season-high but 100 points before his .317 clip in 2017.
Indians starter Adam Plutko didn’t give up a hit until the fourth, when Whit Merrifield led off with his 11th homer, a shot to left that barely crept over the 19-foot-high wall. Plutko got through the rest of the inning unscathed before the rain intensified and caused the lengthy delay.
Royals: 2B Adalberto Mondesi (right groin strain) is expected to come off the 10-day injured list when eligible on June 29. He was put on the shelf following Kansas City’s June 18 game in Seattle.
Indians: OF Jake Bauers rolled his left ankle shagging flies during pregame batting practice and was scratched 90 minutes before the first pitch. Bauers took pregame swings in the cage, but the Indians decided to rest him. … RHP Mike Clevinger will throw a “full-fledged bullpen” Tuesday, a final hurdle before he’s activated from the injured list with a sprained ankle. Clevinger is scheduled to start Friday at Baltimore.
Royals: RHP Glenn Sparkman (2-3, 3.62 ERA) allowed one run — a homer — and tossed a career-high seven innings in his previous start against Minnesota.
Indians: RHP Shane Bieber (6-3, 3.86 ERA) has won both career starts against Kansas City despite a 6.35 ERA. He’s 8-2 in 14 starts against AL Central opponents.
Yankees 10, Blue Jays 8
NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton stretched the Yankees’ home run streak to a record-tying 27 games, and New York beat the Toronto Blue Jays.
Hicks and Stanton each hit three-run drives, and New York matched the mark set by Alex Rodriguez and the 2002 Texas Rangers.
CC Sabathia (5-4) pitched six innings of two-run ball for his 251st career victory. He threw 104 pitches, his most in a game since 2016, and struck out a season-high nine. The 38-year-old left-hander whiffed Billy McKinney with his final pitch, earning a big roar from the Bronx crowd.
Stanton hit his shot during a seven-run sixth inning for his first homer in a season spoiled by various injuries.
The Yankees batted around during that inning, their fourth time turning over the order in the past week. The blowout came a night after New York ended its eight-game winning streak.
Blue Jays starter Aaron Sanchez (3-10) allowed seven runs in 5 1/3 innings. Toronto had won three of four.
Hicks turned on Sanchez’s fastball in the fifth inning to make it 3-2 with his fifth homer of the season.
Didi Gregorius and Gleyber Torres led off the next inning with consecutive singles, and then the Yankees were off. DJ LeMahieu, who matched a career high with four hits, had a single, Luke Voit had an RBI double and Gregorius singled again before reliever Sean Reid-Foley finally ended the frame with New York up 10-3.
Red Sox 6, White Sox 5
BOSTON (AP) — Marco Hern’ndez beat out an infield single with the bases loaded in the ninth and the Boston Red Sox rallied to beat the Chicago White Sox.
It was the second straight walk-off victory at home for Boston, which has won nine of 12.
Andrew Benintendi led off the ninth with a double. J.D. Martinez struck out and Rafael Devers grounded out to first to move Benintendi to third. Fry then intentionally walked Xander Bogaerts, bringing up Bradley Jr. Bogaerts stole second uncontested, prompting Chicago to intentionally walk Bradley to load the bases for Hern’ndez. He grounded the ball to the hole and beat shortstop Tim Anderson’s throw.
Brandon Workman (7-1) got one out in the eighth, to pick up the victory. Jace Fry (1-3) took the loss for Chicago, which has lost six out of eight.
Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez gave up five runs off six hits, including two home runs over 6 1/3 innings.
Chicago’s Lucas Giolito, who is looking to become the first White Sox All-Star pitcher since Chris Sale and JosÈ Quintana in 2016, allowed three runs off six hits, struck out seven and walked four over 5 2/3 innings.
Cubs 8, Braves 3
CHICAGO (AP) — Willson Contreras homered and had three RBIs, Jon Lester pitched five-hit ball through six innings and the Chicago Cubs beat the Atlanta Braves in a chippy matchup of NL division leaders.
Jason Heyward added a solo homer for Chicago, which moved one game ahead of Milwaukee in the NL Central. Lester (7-5) allowed two unearned runs and struck out seven.
The Cubs strung together five straight hits in a five-run fifth inning to break the game open. Kyle Schwarber doubled into the ivy to score Carlos Gonz’lez. Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javier B’ez and Contreras followed with RBIs.
Tempers flared in the second inning when Contreras homered to right, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Contreras turned to Braves catcher Tyler Flowers after the ball left his bat, and while rounding first base, gestured toward Atlanta’s dugout and thumped his chest.
Contreras and Flowers exchanged words as he returned to the dugout. Heyward escorted Contreras back to the dugout, and Teheran approached the third-base line.
The benches cleared, umpire John Tumpane warned both teams and players congregated on the third-base line. No blows were exchanged.
Phillies 13, Mets 7
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Maikel Franco hit a go-ahead two-run homer, Rhys Hoskins, Jean Segura and Jay Bruce also went deep and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the New York Mets, snapping a seven-game losing streak.
Zach Eflin (7-7) struggled through five innings, allowing six runs and 11 hits but got a rare outburst from his offense. The Phillies scored only 15 runs total during their losing streak.
Todd Frazier, Wilson Ramos, Michael Conforto and Dominic Smith each hit solo homers for the Mets.
Steven Matz (5-6) got roughed up again in Philadelphia. The lefty gave up seven runs and 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings. He’s 0-4 with an 8.18 ERA in six career starts in Philly’s hitter-friendly ballpark. Matz didn’t record an out and allowed eight runs — six earned — against the Phillies on April 16.
The Phillies had lost 16 of 22 since May 29, going from first in the NL East to second place behind Atlanta.