Indians hang on to beat Royals 11-9 in 10 innings
Saturday, April 14, 2012
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Shin-Soo Choo hit a two-run double with two outs in the 10th inning, and the Cleveland Indians beat the Kansas City Royals 11-9 on Saturday night in a testy affair with three ejections and a pair of bench-clearings.
The Royals rallied from a seven-run hole to force extra innings before Choo pounded a pitch from Greg Holland (0-1) to center field. Jarrod Dyson nearly caught it at the top of the wall, but the ball popped loose and Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley scored the go-ahead runs.
Jairo Asencio (1-1) earned his first major league win by pitching a clean ninth inning, while Chris Perez set the Royals down in order for his second save of the season.
Booed all night, Choo made Kansas City pay for hitting him early in the game.
The outfielder was plunked by starter Jonathan Sanchez in the third inning, which sent both teams streaming onto the infield. Sanchez and Choo have some history: The left-hander broke Choo's thumb last season by hitting him with a pitch and sent him to the disabled list for nearly two months.
Tempers were still simmering in the bottom half when Cleveland starter Jeanmar Gomez hit Mike Moustakas leading off the inning. Plate umpire Gary Darling immediately tossed Gomez along with Indians manager Manny Acta and third baseman Jack Hannahan, who rushed into the middle of the fray.
Royals manager Ned Yost was in the middle of the scrap, losing his hat as he got into Hannahan's face between the mound and first base.
Carlos Santana, Jose Lopez and Kipnis each drove in a pair of runs for the Indians, who have come alive after a miserable five-game stretch to start the season. They scored seven times in the first inning while taking the series opener, and piled up 14 hits on Saturday night.
Moustakas and Billy Butler each drove in a pair of runs for Kansas City, while Yuniesky Betancourt's solo homer in the eighth inning tied the game and forced extra innings.
Things soured for Sanchez early in the third, when Brantley ripped a one-out triple to the wall. Asdrubal Cabrera followed with an RBI single, and Sanchez plunked Choo on the right knee.
Choo started jawing at Sanchez as he headed toward first base, and the Royals starter dished the trash talk right back at him. Hannahan rushed at Sanchez before the umpires and coaches from both teams intervened, restoring order before tempers boiled over.
The Indians immediately pounced on the rattled Sanchez, piling up five runs before he was finally lifted from his Kauffman Stadium debut after 2 2-3 innings.
Although Moustakas came around to score after his plunking, on a triple by Alcides Escobar, and Jarrod Dyson followed with a sacrifice fly, the Indians tacked on more runs.
Cleveland got a run back on Santana's base hit in the fourth. Kotchman went deep leading off the fifth, and Kipnis followed a base hit by Jason Donald with his own homer to make it 9-2.
Then Royals' rally started in the most innocuous of ways.
Betancourt singled to lead off the fifth inning, and an RBI double by Moustakas and an RBI by Escobar on a double-play groundout made it 9-4.
Kansas City added two more runs in the sixth. Butler ripped a one-out double to left field, and an error on Kipnis at second base allowed Betancourt to reach first and keep the inning alive for Moustakas, whose RBI double pulled the Royals within three runs.
Hosmer's run-scoring double and Butler's RBI single made it a one-run game in the seventh, and Betancourt finally tied it on a 2-2 pitch from Vinnie Pestano leading off the eighth.
Notes: Indians RHP Ubaldo Jimenez pitches the finale against Royals RHP Luis Mendoza. ... The Indians have homered each of their first seven games, the fourth-best season-opening stretch since at least 1918. ... Royals starters allowed seven runs in 34 innings over the first six games of the season. They've allowed 12 in 6 2-3 innings against Cleveland.
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