CLEVELAND -- Pitch for pitch, quick out for quick out, Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy said he was matched up as much against Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer as he was Cleveland's hitters."We were both making quick outs, same thing back and forth, all game," Kennedy said. "You're not allowing yourself to
CLEVELAND -- Pitch for pitch, quick out for quick out, Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy said he was matched up as much against Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer as he was Cleveland's hitters.
"We were both making quick outs, same thing back and forth, all game," Kennedy said. "You're not allowing yourself to get too tight in between [innings], and you want to get back out there."
Bauer flinched first, giving up a solo home run to Lucas Duda, which was all the scoring in the Royals' 1-0 win over the Tribe on Saturday at frigid Progressive Field. Game time temperature was 34 degrees with the wind chill at 25 degrees.
"It's hard to get a grip on the baseball," Kennedy said. "The ball feels like it's an ice cube when it's thrown to you. And you start to get a little cold in your bottom half at the end of the game. Your flexibility starts to die down a little bit."
But Kennedy was spot on with all his pitches, especially his four-seam fastball and changeup. He went six innings and gave up four hits while walking none and striking out eight.
Kennedy's biggest scare came in the sixth when Francisco Lindor ripped a curveball off the left-center-field wall. With one out, Lindor stole third, literally with Kennedy's back turned. Kennedy had stepped off the mound for a timeout, but home-plate umpire Will Little ruled Kennedy had his foot back on the rubber and the ball was in play.
Royals manager Ned Yost, who asked for an explanation, said later, "It's hard to argue that because I'm not watching or looking up to see that."
Kennedy came back and struck out Jose Ramirez for the second out, and then got Michael Brantley to fly out, stranding Lindor. But Kennedy still seemed a little annoyed at the ruling.
"There's plenty of times I'm waiting on the hitter to get comfortable," Kennedy said. "Ramirez was back in the box not even a second. That's what aggravated me a little bit that the umpire called it and said as soon as I got back engaged on the rubber, it was all back in play. I'd never heard of that."
Duda's homer, his second, came on a first-pitch four-seamer from Bauer leading off the seventh.
"Just got lucky," Duda said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Bauer bests Butera:Alcides Escobar snapped Kansas City's 0-for-14 start to the day with a two-out single into right field in the fifth, igniting a brief rally for the Royals.
Bauer wound up with runners on second and third against Andrew Butera, who fought back from an 0-2 hole to work the count full. Bauer then fired a low-and-outside two-seamer with late run, and catcher Roberto Perez presented the pitch well enough to net a called third strike. Butera argued the call to no avail, and Bauer walked off the mound with a great escape.
Boyer holds off Tribe: The Indians threatened to tie it in the seventh off Royals reliever Blaine Boyer. After two quick outs, Boyer got Rajai Davis down 0-2, but gave up a single to right. After a stolen base and a throwing error put Davis on third, Boyer walked Perez on a close 3-2 call. Bradley Zimmer followed with a liner right to first baseman Cheslor Cuthbert to preserve Kansas City's lead.
"Pitched him right where we were playing him," Boyer said with a smile.
"That's huge. That puts the tying run in scoring position. With his speed, he can score even on a line drive, so that was a huge out for us." -- Butera, on throwing out Lindor on an attempted steal with one out in eighth inning
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• When Bauer struck out Whit Merrifield in the fourth inning, it was Merrifield's first strikeout since Sept. 25, a span of 50 plate appearances -- it had been the longest active streak in the Major Leagues.
• Perez made a throwing error while trying to nab Escobar on a steal of second in the fifth inning, marking the first error of the year for the Indians. It marked the first time since at least 1908 that Cleveland opened a season with seven straight error-free games.
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
In the home half of the fifth, Davis sent a chopper to second baseman Ryan Goins, who fielded and flipped the ball to first in one motion with his glove. The speedy Davis was called out on the bang-bang play, but the Indians challenged the ruling. After review, the out call stood.
Indians right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall made made three catches in the outfield in the first two innings, but then left the game before batting in the second. He was replaced by Davis. Chisenhall departed with a right calf injury and is likely headed to the disabled list, according to Indians manager Terry Francona. More >>
Right-hander Jason Hammel takes the mound for the Royals in the series finale against the Indians on Sunday at 12:10 p.m. CT. Hammel gave up seven hits and five runs over five innings in the Royals' 6-1 loss to Detroit on Monday. Right-hander Mike Clevinger is scheduled to take the mound for the Indians. In his 2018 debut, Clevinger held the Angels scoreless over 5 1/3 innings.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.