Mike Aviles hit a three-run homer and finished with a career-high five RBIs, and the Cleveland Indians beat the Kansas City Royals 10-3 on Sunday night to split the first day-night doubleheader in Kauffman Stadium history.
The Royals’ Jeremy Guthrie shut down Cleveland in a 9-0 victory in the opener, but Will Smith (0-1) couldn’t do the same after getting recalled from Triple-A Omaha for the night-cap.
The Indians scored twice off Smith in the second inning. Aviles hit his homer in the third, and then he added sacrifice flies in the fourth and seventh innings against his former team.
Corey Kluber yielded only Chris Getz’s two-run blooper in the fourth in a stellar spot start for Cleveland. Kluber (2-0) lasted seven innings and retired his final 10 batters.
Carlos Santana had four hits and drove in a run in Game 2 for the Indians, while the Royals committed three errors that helped lead to four unearned runs.
In the opener of a doubleheader caused by Friday night’s rainout, Guthrie (3-0) allowed six hits over 6 2-3 innings for his 16th consecutive start without a loss. That matched the Kansas City record set by Paul Splittorff from Aug. 13, 1977-April 22, 1978.
”I knew it’s been a number of starts in a row, because people kept reminding me of it,” Guthrie said with a smile. ”Ultimately, it means a lot because hopefully the guys behind me when I go out are confident that we have a chance to win the game.”
Confidence was perhaps the biggest thing that Guthrie was missing last season in Colorado. He was just 3-9 with a 6.35 ERA before a trade to Kansas City, but went 5-3 with a 3.16 ERA the rest of the way, earning a $25 million, three-year contract from the Royals in November.
Guthrie’s gone at least six innings in all four of his starts this season.
”I have the kind of confidence I want to go into each start with,” he said, ”that good stuff or not, I can keep us in it and give us a chance to win the game.”
Alcides Escobar and Alex Gordon homered to pace Kansas City.
Escobar’s solo shot came in the fifth inning and Gordon’s two-run homer came in the eighth, capping a big afternoon for the Royals offense. Jarrod Dyson also drove in a pair of runs, and Mike Moustakas had a single and three walks – one with the bases loaded.
”The walks to Moustakas were big,” Indians manager Terry Francona conceded.
Justin Masterson (4-2) allowed seven runs in 6 1-3 innings for the Indians. The right-hander, who entered the game with a 1.85 ERA, was trying to join Bob Lemon, Greg Swindell and Cliff Lee as the only pitchers in franchise history with five wins in April.
Instead, Masterson got roughed up by the bottom of the Royals’ lineup.
”Justin Masterson is such a good pitcher, and going into the game, my mind was prepared for a low-scoring affair,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. ”I thought we’d have to squeak out some runs.”
So much for that. The only close call off Guthrie came in the second inning.
Santana hit a drive to center that hit off the green padding atop the wall. The ball bounced back into play and was ruled a double, and the call was upheld when the umpires checked the replay. Santana was left stranded when Guthrie retired Ryan Raburn and Lonnie Chisenhall.
”It was close,” Francona said. ”I wish it had went about 2 inches further.”
— Associated Press —