CLEVELAND (AP) — Francisco Lindor hit two doubles and one of Cleveland’s three home runs, leading the Indians into first place in the AL Central with a 7-1 win over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night.
The Indians will go for a sweep of the four-game series Sunday, and have won five of six against the Royals this season.
Lindor, whose two-run homer came in the seventh inning, became the first Indians player to record three extra-base hits in a game this season. He also started an outstanding defensive play in the ninth. Playing in a shift near second base, he made a backhand stop of Kendrys Morales’ hard-hit grounder and flipped to third baseman Jose Ramirez, who was playing behind second. Ramirez threw to first for the out.
Tyler Naquin, who hit his first big league home run Friday, hit a two-run homer in the sixth. Mike Napoli started the four-run inning with a solo homer.
Josh Tomlin (8-1) bounced back from his first loss of the season and allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings.
Napoli belted his 13th homer of the season into the left-field bleachers with one out in the sixth off Ian Kennedy (4-4). Rajai Davis added an RBI single before Naquin’s homer carried into the seats in right-center.
Tomlin, who lost to Texas on Monday, was pulled after Rey Fuentes’ RBI single. Tomlin gave up seven hits and struck out four.
Royals catcher Salvador Perez returned to the lineup after missing six games with a bruised left thigh. He had two hits off Tomlin and is 13 for 20 in his career against him.
Kennedy allowed five runs in six innings for Kansas City, which had won six straight overall entering the series.
Royals: RHP Kris Medlen (rotator cuff inflammation) will throw to batters Monday at the team’s training facility in Surprise, Arizona. He has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 11.
Indians: RHP Joba Chamberlain (left intercostal strain) could be activated from the 15-day disabled list early in the week. He threw a 20-pitch simulated game Saturday.
Royals: RHP Chris Young (2-5) makes his first start since May 9. He has made two relief appearances since coming off the 15-day disabled list with a sore forearm May 28.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber (4-6) allowed six runs, including two homers, in seven innings Monday when he lost to Texas. He’s 5-5 in 14 career starts against Kansas City.