Cleveland at Kansas City

Kansas City
W: Y. Ventura (4-5) L: T. Bauer (1-3) S: G. Holland (19)
HR: CLE - None   KC - None

Royals ride Ventura, four sac flies to victory over Indians wire reports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The hallmark of a good team, at least in Royals manager Ned Yost's opinion, is the ability to wedge open the smallest of openings that an opponent provides.

His club sure did that against Cleveland on Wednesday.

The Royals scored all their runs by tying a franchise record with four sacrifice flies, and Yordano Ventura dominated the Indians over seven stingy innings in a 4-1 victory.

''It's finding a way to win a ballgame that's important,'' said Yost, whose team has won four straight. ''Good teams find ways to score those runs, and we did it four times today.''

In doing so, the Royals became only the second team to score four runs all on sacrifice flies since it became an official stat in 1954. The Expos managed to do it against the Cubs on May 28, 1980, according to STATS, although that happened in an 8-4, 14-inning loss.

''See?'' Yost said. ''We made history.''

Ventura (4-5) allowed six hits while striking out three without a walk to win back-to-back starts for the first time. The only run he allowed came in the sixth, when he gave up consecutive singles to start the inning and Carlos Santana hit an RBI single.

By then, Indians counterpart Trevor Bauer (1-3) had already allowed sacrifice flies to Jarrod Dyson, Omar Infante and Alcides Escobar. Billy Butler added another sacrifice fly off reliever John Axford in the seventh to complete the scoring.

''Usually I'm able to strike out guys in situations like that,'' Bauer said. ''I made a couple of good pitches today, but they fouled them off and put them in play. So it is unusual.''

The Indians loaded the bases off Wade Davis with nobody out in the eighth, but two strikeouts and a groundout ended the threat. Greg Holland worked a perfect ninth for his 19th save.

The Royals (33-32) moved over .500 for the first time since May 18. They also jumped over Cleveland into second place in the AL Central as they embark on a trip that begins with the White Sox and concludes with the division-leading Detroit.

Lonnie Chisenhall had a pair of hits for Cleveland, extending his hitting streak to a career-best nine games. He's had at least two hits in his last five.

Prior to the game, Indians manager Terry Francona recalled with disdain the last time his club faced Ventura - the young flamethrower's debut last September. Ventura allowed one run over 5 2/3 innings, and at one point threw a pitch to Yan Gomes clocked at 102 mph.

''He's got pretty special stuff,'' Francona said. ''Kind of hope we don't see that today.''

Turns out he did. Ventura kept the ball down in the strike zone and forced the Indians to chop into a series of groundouts. He retired seven straight batters at one point, never allowing a ball to be hit out of the infield.

''I went out there with the mentality to throw a lot of strike,'' Ventura said through a translator. ''Something good was going to happen if I threw a lot of strikes.''

Nobody was more frustrated than Jason Giambi. With the Royals shifting their infield, the Indians DH grounded out to the exact same spot three straight times before popping out.

''He's got great stuff,'' Giambi said. ''When he locates like he did today, he's tough. He really is. He's got good mound presence and attacks the strike zone.''

The Royals scored their first run when Dyson followed a double by Mike Moustakas and a single by Escobar with a sacrifice fly in the third. Nori Aoki followed with a single, and Infante hit his sacrifice fly to give the Royals a 2-0 lead.

Escobar's sacrifice fly came after a double by Salvador Perez and a single by Moustakas in the fourth, and Butler added his sacrifice fly after singles by Infante and Eric Hosmer.

That was enough to beat Bauer, who has still never won in seven road outings. The Indians starter allowed three runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.

''That type of energy and intensity we played with today, that's the way we need to play,'' Butler said. ''Bauer was pitching really well. Every opportunity we had we capitalized on.''


Escobar has hit in 10 straight games. ... Indians OF/1B Nick Swisher (left knee) planned to make a final rehab start Wednesday for Double-A Akron before joining the team Thursday in Boston. Asked if Swisher would be activated immediately, Francona said, ''We'll see.''

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Yordano Ventura picks up the win as the surging Royals score all four of their runs on sacrifice flies. (USATSI)
Yordano Ventura picks up the win as the surging Royals score all four of their runs on sacrifice flies. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Kansas City

A. Escobar
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 0
Kansas City

Y. Ventura
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 1
BB 0
K 3

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April 21, 2017
This weekend in baseball: AL Central (1:19)
Cleveland Indians
Michael Bourn, CF4120000 .284
Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B3020100 .393
Michael Brantley, LF4020003 .310
Jason Kipnis, 2B4010015 .250
Carlos Santana, 1B4011015 .178
David Murphy, RF4000015 .284
Yan Gomes, C4000020 .261
Jason Giambi, DH4000000 .128
Mike Aviles, SS4000010 .261
Trevor Bauer, P0000000 .000
   Marc Rzepczynski, P0000000 .000
   John Axford, P0000000 .000
   Josh Outman, P0000000 .000
RBI - Carlos Santana (22)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Santana (8)
Team LOB - 8
E - Trevor Bauer (1, Throwing)
Cleveland Indians
Trevor Bauer (L,1-3) 5.1733110 4.24
Marc Rzepczynski 0.2100000 3.18
John Axford 1211010 3.33
Josh Outman 1100010 2.86
Pitches-Strikes - Trevor Bauer 93-62, Marc Rzepczynski 9-5, John Axford 28-17, Josh Outman 23-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Trevor Bauer 5-10, Marc Rzepczynski 2-0, John Axford 1-1, Josh Outman 1-1
Batters Faced - Trevor Bauer 24, Marc Rzepczynski 3, John Axford 5, Josh Outman 4
Kansas City Royals
Norichika Aoki, RF4010002 .256
Omar Infante, 2B3111000 .232
Eric Hosmer, 1B3010100 .259
Billy Butler, DH3011002 .254
Alex Gordon, LF4000012 .283
Salvador Perez, C4110010 .270
Mike Moustakas, 3B4120010 .164
Alcides Escobar, SS3131000 .287
Jarrod Dyson, CF3011002 .286
Yordano Ventura, P0000000 .500
   Wade Davis, P0000000 .000
   Greg Holland, P0000000 .000
2B - Billy Butler (13, Bauer), Salvador Perez (15, Bauer), Mike Moustakas (10, Bauer)
SF - Omar Infante (3), Billy Butler (7), Alcides Escobar (2), Jarrod Dyson (1)
RBI - Omar Infante (25), Billy Butler (24), Alcides Escobar (22), Jarrod Dyson (5)
SB - Eric Hosmer (1, 2nd base off Axford/Gomes), Alcides Escobar (17, 2nd base off Outman/Gomes)
Team LOB - 8
E - Alcides Escobar (4, Throwing)
Kansas City Royals
Yordano Ventura (W,4-5) 7611030 3.20
Wade Davis (H,11) 1200120 1.23
Greg Holland (S,19) 1000010 1.40
Pitches-Strikes - Yordano Ventura 85-61, Wade Davis 29-18, Greg Holland 11-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yordano Ventura 12-6, Wade Davis 1-0
Batters Faced - Yordano Ventura 27, Wade Davis 6, Greg Holland 3
Game Information
Attendance - 19938
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Cory Blaser, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - Brian O'Nora, Third Base - Doug Eddings