In the series finale with the Indians, the Royals were shutout by rookie right-hander Triston McKenzie, 5-0.
Jakob Junis made his second start since coming off the Injured List Wednesday. After tossing just 3 2⁄3 innings in his last start at St. Louis, Junis hoped to work deep into the game to save some innings from an overworked bullpen. The righty appeared to be on his way of doing that with a 1-2-3 top of the first.
However, Cleveland’s offense opened the scoring in the top of the second. After Franmil Reyes poked a single to right field, Tyler Naquin ripped a two-run shot over the wall in right-center field. From there, the Indians held a 2-0 lead for awhile.
Junis settled back down and kept Cleveland scoreless for the next two innings. Unfortunately, a 106.9 mph line drive off the bat of Josh Naylor drilled Junis between the bicep and triceps area in the fourth inning with two outs. Junis managed to pick up the ball and record the out at first base, but he exited before taking the mound in the fifth inning. Kyle Zimmer came on in relief and pitched two scoreless frames to lower his ERA to 1.20 in 15 innings.
Kansas City had its opportunity to strike for the first time on the night in the bottom of the fifth. Ryan McBroom reached on a single to the opposite field and Alex Gordon doubled to put runners at first and third with one out. With McKenzie in a jam, Adalberto Mondesi came to the plate with a chance to double his season total in RBIs. After working the count to 3-2, Mondesi scalded a one hopper to Carlos Santana at first base, who stepped on the bag and caught McBroom in no man’s land to end the inning. The ball had an exit velocity of 106.7 mph.
Josh Staumont worked a scoreless top of the seventh and received defensive help from seven-time Gold Glover Alex Gordon. The 36-year-old ran down a fly ball in the gap and doubled-up Reyes at first base to end the inning. It was the 100th outfield assist of Gordon’s career.
As if the offense wasn’t struggling enough in the absence of Salvador Perez, Jorge Soler left the game in the home half of the seventh with “right side oblique irritation and mid-back tightness.” He is listed as day-to-day.
In the ninth, Naquin hammered his second home run of the night off Scott Barlow. Only this time, it was a three-run blast to put the game out of reach.
The Royals, now 14-23, will welcome the Chicago White Sox for a four-game set starting on Thursday. Danny Duffy will throw for Kansas City and Dylan Cease is scheduled to go for the White Sox. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. CDT on FSKC and MLB Network.