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José Ramírez powers Cleveland over Royals, 9-2

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It wasn’t the same pitching staff as yesterday.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals couldn’t pick up a series win in Cleveland Sunday, as the Indians took an early lead and never looked back, winning 9-2.

Coming into the game, Mike Matheny planned on using his bullpen instead of throwing a traditional starter. The arm Matheny elected to open with was 23-year-old Ronald Bolaños, who the Royals acquired from San Diego earlier this month. In the bottom of the first, Bolaños was tagged for two unearned runs after Erick Mejia committed a throwing error on the second batter of the game.

Franmil Reyes and Domingo Santana were the ones to make it pay, as back-to-back RBI-singles put Cleveland in front 2-0. The damage could’ve been worse, but Brett Phillips gunned down Santana at second base to end the inning. Following a scoreless frame in his second inning of work, Bolaños was relieved by Jorge López in the bottom half of the third.

López, who was attempting to show signs of improvement after a rough 2019, didn’t do much to help his case. José Ramírez smoked an RBI-single that got by Franchy Cordero in right field and Francisco Lindor drove home Ramírez on an RBI-double down the left field line. Before the inning concluded, López was pulled for left-hander Gabe Speier.

Trailing 4-0, Kansas City finally broke into the hit and run column in the top of the fourth. Following an opposite field double by Adalberto Mondesi, Salvador Perez poked a single to center field and scored Mondesi to cut the deficit to 4-1. The Royals, however, couldn’t do much with the slight momentum shift.

In the bottom half, Ramírez added to his impressive day with a three-run blast off Kevin McCarthy into the empty right field bleachers. Kansas City answered back in the top of the fifth on an RBI-single from Whit Merrifield to make 7-2.

Josh Staumont made his 2020 debut in the sixth with a scoreless outing, collecting one strikeout. He managed to touch triple digits in the frame with a max of 101 mph. The right-hander was one of two Royals to not allow a run on Sunday with the other being Kyle Zimmer.

Ramírez circled the bases, again, in the bottom of the sixth with a solo shot off Richard Lovelady for his fourth RBI of the game.

The Royals will head off to Detroit for a four-game set with the Tigers starting tomorrow. Mike Montgomery will make his season debut against Michael Fulmer. Montgomery struck out 12 over seven scoreless innings in his last start in Detroit. First pitch is slated for 6:10 p.m. CT on FSKC.