The Cleveland Indians are back on top of the American League Central Division after defeating the Royals by a final of 7-1.
Josh Tomlin picked up his eighth victory in ten tries Saturday night, improving his 2016 record to an impressive 8-1.
The only run Tomlin would allow came in the seventh when Reymond Fuentes hit a soft liner to left, scoring Kendrys Morales and ending Tomlin’s night.
On the evening Tomlin tossed 6.1 innings, allowing only the one earned run. He gave up seven hits and one walk while striking out four.
Ian Kennedy wasn’t quite as good for the Royals.
The Tribe loaded the bases in the second inning before Chris Gimenez hit a sac fly to center to score Lonnie Chisenhall, giving Tomlin an early lead to work with.
It took the Indians some time to add to their total but when they did, they did it in a big way.
In the sixth Mike Napoli deposited his 13th home run of the season to left on the first pitch he saw after striking out in his first two at-bats.
The Tribe put three more runs on the board in the inning. With two outs Chisenhall doubled and scored on a Rajai Davis single before Tyler Naquin put a bow on the frame with his second home run in as many nights. Naquin hit his first career Major League blast Friday night.
Kennedy gave up only one run until the wheels came off in the six. In all, Kennedy lasted six innings, surrendering five runs (all earned) on eight hits. He struck out six and walked one.
Francisco Lindor continued the scoring barrage in the seventh by hitting his fifth home run of the season following a Jason Kipnis single to put the Tribe on top 7-1.
Jeff Manship came on in Tomlin’s relief in the seventh and retired all five batters he faced before turning it over to Dan Otero for a perfect ninth thanks to a spectacular tag team play by Lindor and Jose Ramirez.
With the win the Indians are back in first place in the division after claiming the top spot for just one day last weekend. They will look to extend their lead and complete a four game sweep of the Royals on Sunday.
The Tribe will give Corey Kluber (4-6, 4.15) the ball and the Royals will counter with Chris Young (2-5, 5.94). First pitch is set for 1:10.
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