Indians 13, Royals 0
CLEVELAND (AP)—As a youngster, Travis Hafner was a Don Mattingly fan. Now, he’s matched his grand slam record.
Hafner hit his sixth grand slam in Cleveland’s 11-run first inning to tie Mattingly’s single-season record and the Indians routed the Kansas City Royals 13-0 Sunday.
“It’s pretty cool to tie a major league record,” Hafner said. “Mattingly was one of the best hitters in the game. I liked to watch him on TV when I was young.”
Hafner put Cleveland ahead 11-0 with his 35th homer of the season and tied Mattingly’s mark set with the New York Yankees in 1987.
The Indians got the historic baseball back from a fan and gave it to Hafner, who has 45 games remaining with a chance to break the record.
“I’ll have to see if there is a next one,” Hafner said. He is 8-for-13 with six homers and 29 RBIs this season with the bases loaded. It was his eighth career grand slam.
The first 10 Indians to bat all reached base and scored against Luke Hudson (5-4).
“It was one of those days where everything was wild and what wasn’t was right down the middle,” Royals manager Buddy Bell said.
It was the largest first inning by the Indians since opening with 11 runs against the Baltimore Orioles on July 6, 1954. The team record is a 14-run first inning against the Philadelphia Athletics on June 18, 1950.
“Every day you see something different,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “It was crazy. I’ve never seen a first inning like that.”
Rookie Jeremy Sowers (4-3) gave up five hits over six innings. He struck out two and walked one to help Cleveland complete a four-game series sweep and match a season-high six-game winning streak set April 4-11. The left-hander is 3-0 over his last five starts, allowing five earned runs in 36 innings to lower his ERA from 7.94 to 3.53.
“There’s nothing wrong with my teammates getting hits and scoring runs,” Sowers said. “When they finally make that third out 45 minutes later, you go out and try to pitch your game.
Andrew Brown made his major league debut for Cleveland after being called up from Triple-A Buffalo and pitched two scoreless innings.
The Royals have been outscored 74-31 in losing 11 in a row at Jacobs Field since July 20, 2005.
“We definitely need to get out of here for a while,” Bell said.
Hudson gave up 10 earned runs and eight hits with three walks in one-third of an inning, falling to 5-1 since being recalled from Triple-A Omaha on June 30.
“I had one of those days, to say the least,” Hudson said. “I never expected one this bad. I just goes to show that you can’t get too high after a few wins and I shouldn’t be too low after a loss like this.”
The right-hander walked Grady Sizemore and Hafner around a single by Jason Michaels to start the 31-minute bottom of the first. Victor Martinez hit a two-run single and Shin-Soo Choo a two-run double to make it 4-0.
Sizemore singled off Hudson’s glove to score Peralta and after Michaels struck out, Hafner hit a 1-1 pitch over the wall in right, giving him 104 RBIs, five short of his career best. His 35th homer extended his career high.
“Nobody wanted to make that first out,” Hafner said. “I was glad J-Mike did just before I got up there.”
Said Michaels: “We were having so much fun, I said, ‘OK guys, keep it going, so I can come around again and make the second out.’ “
Martinez doubled to finish Hudson, who was replaced by Todd Wellemeyer. The right-hander got Choo to ground out and Garko to fly to left to finally end the rally.
Wellemeyer gave up one run and two hits over 6 2-3 innings.
Hafner had been tied with Baltimore’s Jim Gentile (1961) and Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs (1955) with five grand slams. … RHP Jeremy Guthrie was optioned back to Buffalo when the Indians called up Brown. … Inglett returned to the Indians’ lineup after missing three games with a sprained left foot. … Hudson has allowed 17 earned runs in only 2 2-3 innings (57.38 ERA) in two career starts against Cleveland. … Royals CF David DeJesus’ leadoff single in the first extended his streak of reaching base safely to 19 games. … The Indians’ 14-run first inning in 1950 is tied for the AL record, and one off the modern major league record.