Indians rout Royals, 10-1, in second game of series
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Matt Harvey got roughed up thoroughly and quickly by the Cleveland Indians, and they rode that hot start to victory in grand fashion.
The Royals gave up a double-digit scoring outburst to the AL Central Division foes in a 10-1 loss in the second game of their three-game series at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday night. The Royals had allowed an opponent to score 10 runs or more only one other time this season - against the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 1 .
The Indians (22-14) hit four home runs as part of a 17-hit night, led by Franmil Reyes' first career five-hit game which included a homer and two doubles.
Nicky Lopez, who started at shortstop as Adalberto Mondesi got a night off, snapped out of an 0-for-14 slump with two hits for the Royals (14-22), while Hunter Dozier hit a home run in the loss.
Harvey (0-2) gave up five runs on six hits and one walk in the first 1 1/3 innings. Three of the six hits he allowed were home runs, including a pair of two-run blasts.
"It just kind of all fell apart pretty quickly," Harvey said. "I kind of felt like this past week I had kind of figured some stuff out and was pretty excited about that, pretty excited to go out tonight and show that. Clearly, it just didn't happen. I think once I didn't feel like I did this past week, I think I was searching for that and it really was just kind of a struggle from the beginning."
The positive signs that Harvey and manager Mike Matheny could mine from Harvey's first two brief-but-somewhat encouraging outings were much harder to find on Tuesday night.
Those early outings against the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals each included two moderately-successful innings before things went sideways in the third.
The Indians were all over Harvey from the first inning, and he didn't make it to a third.
After an infield single to shortstop put a runner on, Francisco Lindor turned on a belt-high fastball over the inner half of the plate for a two-run home run to open the scoring three batters into the game. Two batters later, Reyes blasted a 1-0 slider to center field for a solo homer to make it a three-run first inning.
The Indians continued their homer onslaught in the second. Recently-acquired Josh Naylor singled to start the inning, and catcher Roberto Perez lined a 1-1 slider from Harvey into the right-field bullpen for the second two-run homer of the night as the lead expanded to 5-0.
Harvey recorded one out in the second and put two men on before Matheny came to the mound. Harvey started to hand the ball over before Matheny reached the rubber.
"It's extremely frustrating for me to let the guys down and to struggle that much and really hurt the bullpen," Harvey said. "I'm just not doing my job right now at all."
Harvey's abbreviated outing opened the door for Carlos Hernandez's big-league debut.
Hernandez had been on the active roster since Sunday. He'd been with the team on the taxi squad during that road trip.
Hernandez, a 23-year-old from Venezuela, hadn't thrown a pitch at a level above Low-A in the minors. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound right-hander, wasn't even assigned to the Royals alternate training site until Aug. 11, though he's been on the 40-man roster since November of 2019.
He warmed up in the bullpen over the weekend, but did not come into that game. This time, he got to run through the bullpen door onto the field.
"I felt it when I was warming up, definitely nervous," Hernandez said with assistant strength coach/Latin American coordinator Luis Perez translating. "Those first few steps out of the bullpen when I started running I said to myself, 'Hey I'm here. This is the show. Let's go.'"
Hernandez entered the game with one out and two men on with Lindor, a four-time All-Star, had already homered in the game. Hernandez got Lindor and Carlos Santana to hit flyouts to center to strand the runners.
"I thought about it when I was warming up," Hernandez said. "They told me the situation I was coming into. I kept telling myself it's the same baseball, same distance to home plate."
Hernandez pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed two hits and a walk. He also struck out two in a 50-pitch performance.
He said he called his mother immediately after the game and she cried because she was so happy.
"I was very impressed," Matheny said. "I don't know how you couldn't be. He attacked the strike zone. You saw behind in the count breaking balls for strikes. You saw swing and miss heaters. ... He had a great tempo too. As soon as he got the ball on the rubber, you could see he had a good plan on what he was trying to do and executed all the way through. That's about as good of a debut as you could ask for."
Hernandez held the score at 5-0 through the fifth inning. Right-hander Chance Adams gave up a run in the sixth. Adams and left-hander Randy Rosario combined to allow three more runs in the seventh inning to give them nine runs. They added their 10th run in the eighth on Jose Ramirez's solo homer off of Rosario.
The Royals lone run came on Dozier's opposite-field solo homer in the bottom of the sixth inning, his fourth homer of the season.