Shin-Soo Choo’s hit in 10th lifts Tribe over Royals following melee
Kansas City, MO, United States (AHN Sports) – Shin-Soo Choo was part of two of Saturday night’s biggest plays, including the go-ahead two-run double in the top of the 10th that helped the Cleveland Indians top the pesky Kansas City Royals 11-9, in the middle test of a three-game set at Kauffman Stadium.
In the third inning, Choo was plunked on the knee by a Jonathan Sanchez fastball, which led to the first of two bench-clearing get-togethers on the infield, with Indians third baseman Jack Hannahan leading the charge.
Choo, who has some history with the Royals starter, took exception to being thrown at and took few steps toward the mound while yelling at Sanchez to “throw it over the plate.”
“I know he didn’t hit me on purpose,” Choo, who now has been hit three times already this season, said via MLB.com. “But still, I have a memory of last year.”
A fastball from Sanchez, who was then pitching for the Giants in an Interleague game against the Indians last June 24 at San Francisco, broke Choo’s left thumb. It required surgery and caused the Indians slugger to spend nearly two months on the disabled list.
“I don’t know how many times Sanchez is going to hit Choo, but the last time he did he has three screws in his thumb,” Hannahan said via the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “If we’re going to contend, we need our big boys healthy.”
Order was restored and the Indians scored five times in the third for a 5-0 lead, but tempers were still simmering in the bottom half when Cleveland starter Jeanmar Gomez it Mike Moustakas leading off the inning.
It once again brought players out of the dugouts, but once the dust settled Gomez, Indians manager Manny Acta and Hannahan were tossed.
Acta indicated the situation will be addressed with Gomez, who was making his first start of the year, but he was somewhat displeased with the outcome.
“I believe he was trying to protect his teammates, but I think he went overboard a little,” Acta said via the Plain Dealer. “First of all, there was a warning in place. Once you hit a guy, you’re going to be thrown out. That early in a game, you tax the bullpen.
The Indians got the best of a struggling Sanchez by piling up five runs in the tumultuous third inning that saw him being pulled from his Kauffman Stadium debut after 2 2-3 innings. The Tribe used seven relievers as the Royals eventually erased a 9-2 deficit and tied the game on Yuniesky Betancourt’s solo home run in the bottom of the eighth.
Dan Wheeler was the only remaining hurler in the Tribe’s bullpen.
Choo, who shrugged off the booing from the partisan home crown in his remaining at-bats, shattered a 9-9 deadlock as he came through in the clutch by ripping a fastball into left field off Greg Holland (0-1).
Asdrubal Cabrera went 3-for-6 with an RBI and two runs scored the Indians, who got a two-run homer from Jason Kipnis. Casey Kotcman added a solo blast, while Carlos Santana and Jose Lopez had two RBI apiece as the Indians took the first two games of this series.
Jairo Asencio (1-1) picked up his first major league win after pitching a scoreless ninth inning. Chris Perez, who pitched a scoreless bottom of the 10th, collected his second save of the season.
Billy Butler and Moustakas drove in two runs each for the Royals, who have dropped four of their last five. Eric Hosmer, Alcides Escobar and Jarrod Dyson each knocked in a run in defeat.