CLEVELAND (AP) — Danny Duffy pitched six innings of two-hit ball to beat a longtime nemesis and Whit Merrifield drove in all of Kansas Metropolis’s runs with a homer and sacrifice fly, main the Royals over the Cleveland Indians 3-Zero on Monday.
The Indians performed their residence opener in entrance of followers for the primary time since 2019. The introduced attendance of 8,914 —- 30% of ballpark capability was permitted — was a pleasant change from final season, when followers couldn’t attend as a result of COVID-19 pandemic and well being and security protocols.
Duffy (1-0) got here in with 12 profession losses towards the Indians — his most towards any staff. However the left-hander was in management from the outset and beat them for the fifth time.
Scott Barlow pitched two excellent innings and Jesse Hahn put two on within the ninth earlier than Royals first baseman Carlos Santana, who signed with the membership as a free agent this winter after 10 seasons in Cleveland, made a diving cease on Eddie Rosario’s smash to start out a double play.
Hahn then retired Franmil Reyes on a tough comebacker that caromed off the right-hander to finish Kansas Metropolis’s three-hit shutout and get the save.
Duffy has gained three of his final 4 begins towards the Indians since dropping eight straight, and he’s pitched 11 2-Three consecutive scoreless innings in his previous two outings versus Cleveland.
Merrifield linked for his third homer within the second inning off Indians starter Logan Allen (0-1). Merrifield added his sacrifice fly within the seventh.
A 3-run deficit was an excessive amount of for the Indians, who’ve scored two runs or much less in three of their first 4 video games.
The final time Cleveland performed in entrance of followers at Progressive Subject was on Sept. 22, 2019, a 10-1 win over Philadelphia.
“We missed the followers possibly greater than they missed being right here,” supervisor Terry Francona mentioned. “Taking part in in entrance of empty ballparks, it was higher than not taking part in — don’t get me improper — however having folks right here will actually be welcomed.”
Whit will get a junior-sized Salvy Splash earlier than addressing his sizzling begin on the plate. “It is only a product for me of not lacking my pitches to hit.” #TogetherRoyal pic.twitter.com/CyrbpUj9WY
— Bally Sports activities Kansas Metropolis (@BallySportsKC) April 5, 2021
Greater than a dozen protesters gathered outdoors the ballpark to voice their displeasure on the Indians’ delay in altering their title. Cleveland proprietor Paul Dolan introduced in December the ballclub shall be dropping Indians, its title since 1915, sooner or later.
That’s not quickly sufficient for Native American teams of have decried the title as being racist.
“It’s completely disappointing, disheartening, however not shocking,” mentioned Jeff Pierce, president of Folks Not Mascots. “They’ve been saying they’re going to do that for the final 30 plus years, by no means been carried out. I’ll imagine it once I see it.”
THE BEAT GOES ON
With longtime drummer and ballpark fixture John Adams recovering from well being points, Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney crammed in and pounded a gentle beat when the Indians batted.
Carney, who first attended Cleveland video games as just a little boy, mentioned it was his first “reside” gig since Black Keys’ final present in January 2020.
ON THE OTHER SIDE
It didn’t take lengthy for Santana to make a powerful impression on the Royals, who signed him to a three-year, $17.5 million deal.
“Simply because a child adjustments uniforms, that doesn’t imply it’s going to alter the best way he behaves himself or acts,” Francona mentioned. “I definitely can’t root for him to beat us, however we’re not any much less keen on him as a result of he’s in a Royals uniform.”
Indians right-hander Emmanuel Clase unleashed a 101.2 mph fastball on his first pitch in Sunday’s win at Detroit. It was the quickest pitch recorded by a Cleveland pitcher since 2008, when pitches first started being tracked recurrently.
Following an off day, Cy Younger winner Shane Bieber will make his second begin of 2021 towards the Royals, who haven’t but named a starter. Bieber struck out 12 in his season debut final week at Detroit.