Sandy Alomar triumphs in skipper debut; inspired Tribe top Royals
Cleveland, OH, United States (4E Sports) – Recently promoted Sandy Alomar, Jr. made a successful big-league managerial debut Friday night, as the Cleveland Indians topped the Kansas City Royals 8-5 in the first of three games at Progressive Field.
Alomar, who has been part of Cleveland’s coaching staff since 2010, was promoted from bench coach when Manny Acta was fired Thursday.
Alomar, one of the most popular players in franchise history, made all his six All-Star games with Cleveland. He was recognized with a Gold Glove and was named the AL Rookie of the Year in 1990.
Alomar, 46, is serving as the Tribe’s skipper on an interim basis for the remainder of the season, and he just might manage the team he played for from 1990 through 2000. Cleveland won five straight AL Central titles from 1995 through 1999, and went to the World Series in 1995 and 1997.
The initial success by Alomar, a primary candidate in the team’s managerial search, could usher in a turnaround for Cleveland, which went 214-266 in the past three seasons under Acta.
On Thursday, Jason Kipnis knocked in three runs and Shin-Soo Choo went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI for the inspired Indians (66-91), who produced a total of 16 hits.
Lonnie Chisenhall, Ezequiel Carrera and Cord Phelps had three hits each for the victors.
Apart from the re-invigorated offense, David Huff (3-0) gave the Indians a quality start, pitching six frames of three-ball. The Cleveland starter, who was making just his third start of the year, allowed eight hits, but struck out five and walked none.
Chris Perez pitched the ninth and closed Cleveland’s third straight victory for his 39th save in 43 chances.
Royals starter Will Smith (6-9), who was chased in the second inning, as the Tribe had five straight hits with one out to score three runs in the frame, was saddled with the loss. Smith gave up six runs on nine hits, while striking out two and walking a pair in three-plus innings.
Billy Butler hit a two-run blast in the sixth and Salvador Perez knocked in two runs for the Royals, who have dropped six straight.