CLEVELAND (AP)—The surprising Cleveland Indians will get two chances to set the franchise record for wins in April.
The way they’ve been playing at home, it may take only one.
The Indians (16-8) opened a 4 1/2 -game lead over the Royals and Tigers in the AL Central, heading into Friday night’s series opener against Detroit. The Indians’ 16 wins in April ties the club record set in 1988, 1996 and 1999.
“I’m proud of these guys,” manager Manny Acta said. “This was a very good series. We did just about everything. We swung the bat very well tonight, hit some balls loud, square.”
Carmona (2-3) was coming off a 10-3 loss Saturday in Minnesota and rebounded by throwing 60 of 86 pitches for strikes, walking two and allowing five hits and two runs.
It helped that his offense staked him to an 8-0 lead.
“This is a lot of fun,” Carmona said. “It helps to have my teammates hitting.”
Shin-Soo Choo(notes) and Carlos Santana(notes) connected for consecutive homers with two outs in the first inning off Kyle Davies(notes) (1-3). Grady Sizemore(notes) opened the third with his fourth homer and Shelley Duncan(notes), a late lineup addition when DH Travis Hafner(notes) was scratched with an inflamed right ankle, began the fourth with his first of the year to make it 4-0.
That made it 17 homers allowed by Kansas City during its six-game losing streak.
“We’ve seen a bunch of them,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “It hasn’t been a fun week—(hopefully) we can get home and start something.”
The Royals have dropped nine of 11 and open a nine-game homestand Friday against Minnesota, after going 0-6 on a trip to Texas and Cleveland in which they were outscored 46-22.
“I got my butt kicked by a good team who’s hot,” Davies said. “There’s no excuses. I have to get more swings and misses. I couldn’t stop it.”
Until then, Carmona was in trouble only once.
Carmona then got leadoff man Jarrod Dyson(notes) to ground to first baseman Matt LaPorta(notes), who threw home. Santana ran Treanor back toward third base and applied the tag as Escobar took third and Dyson second. Carmona then struck out Melky Cabrera(notes).
“He threw 21 of 27 first-pitch strikes and could have finished the game,” Acta said. “We didn’t need to squeeze every inning out of him.”
Davies allowed eight runs and nine hits over 3 2-3 innings. The right-hander had yielded only one homer in 26 innings over his first five starts.
NOTES: Cleveland put RHP Carlos Carrasco(notes) on the 15-day DL with an inflamed right elbow and recalled RHP Frank Herrmann(notes) from Triple-A Columbus. RHP Alex White(notes) will be called up Saturday to make his major league debut in Carrasco’s rotation spot. White was a first-round draft pick in 2009. … Hafner will have an MRI exam on his ankle. He took batting practice and was available to hit. … Sizemore, who had microfracture surgery on his left knee in June, was replaced in CF in the seventh as a precaution when a drizzle dampened the field. … Davies dropped to 3-6 against Cleveland. … Royals 2B Chris Getz(notes), in a 3-for-15 slump, got the night off.