Maikel Franco and Bubba Starling had RBI singles in the eighth inning as the Kansas City Royals rallied to beat the Cleveland Indians 2-1 on Monday night in the first game of a three-game series.
It was the Royals’ first win this season when trailing after seven innings.
Scott Barlow (2-1) picked up the win in relief for Kansas City. He pitched one inning, allowing two hits and no runs. Greg Holland recorded his second save.
James Karinchak (0-2) took the loss. He walked the first two batters he faced, and they scored on the hits by Franco and Starling.
Brad Keller allowed just one run in 6-1/3 innings on three hits. He walked just one and struck out four for the Royals.
The starters lived up to the hype. Through six innings, Shane Bieber and Keller had allowed one hit each. Keller retired 11 straight at one point.
The Indians finally got to Keller in the seventh. After retiring Francisco Lindor leading off, he gave up a single to Carlos Santana, and then an RBI double to Franmil Reyes. Keller left after allowing one run on three hits. It was one too many against Bieber.
Once Bieber left the game, the Royals got two runners on in the seventh. But Nick Wittgren made an over-the-shoulder catch on a Whit Merrifield line drive to end the threat.
The Indians will send RHP Zach Plesac (1-1, 1.29 ERA). Plesac will take the mound for the first time since Aug. 8 after getting optioned for violating team protocols. In three starts, Plesac owns a 1.29 ERA with 24 strikeouts and two walks in 21 innings.
The Royals will start Matt Harvey (0-1, 11.12 ERA). Harvey, who will be making his third start of the season, hasn’t been able to make it past the third inning so far. He hasn’t allowed a run in the first two innings of either start, but he’s allowed seven runs in 1 2/3 innings in the third innings. Pregame begins at 6:30 and game time is 7:05. You can hear the broadcast from the Royals’ Radio Network on KMMO FM 102.9.