CLEVELAND -- Before Royals reliever Wily Peralta even got a chance to get any rhythm, it was over on just his second pitch of the night.
Jason Kipnis drilled a slider into the right-field seats to lead off the 10th inning as the Indians walked off to a 3-2 win on Monday night in the series opener at Progressive Field. The game was delayed by rain for 2 hours, 23 minutes in the middle of the fourth inning.
“In that situation you have to execute your pitches,” Peralta said. “I was trying to go back-door slider there. I missed on the first pitch. Tried to go back to it. Pretty much left it middle-middle, middle-in. He put a good swing on it.”
The Royals did very little offensively on the night. Whit Merrifield logged two of their five hits, one was a home run, his 11th of the season, right before the delay. Merrifield singled in the sixth to become the first Major Leaguer to reach 100 hits this season -- he led the Majors in hits last season with 192.
“It means I’m halfway to 200 I guess,” Merrifield said. “I’m feeling good at the plate.”
With almost no margin for error, Royals left-hander and long reliever Brian Flynn tried to protect a precarious 1-0 lead against the surging Indians, who have won nine of 11.
Flynn gave manager Ned Yost 3 2/3 innings, but Flynn surrendered the lead quickly, giving up back-to-back doubles to Carlos Santana and Jose Ramirez which tied the score at 1.
Flynn surrendered the go-ahead run after a walk to Ramirez and an RBI double by rookie Bobby Bradley in the sixth.
The Royals tied it in the eighth on Nicky Lopez’s run-scoring double.
Royals starter Brad Keller got into a jam in the second inning when Kipnis singled and Ramirez doubled. But Keller promptly struck out Bradley and Roberto Perez, then the right-hander got Tyler Naquin to ground out, holding the Indians scoreless.
Keller delivered three shutout innings before the rain came.
“It's too bad because Keller was really sharp tonight, too,” Yost said. “It's too bad we couldn't have lengthened him out today with the stuff that he had.
"But Flynn did a nice job and [Jorge] Lopez did a nice job [1 1/3 scoreless innings]. It was just one of those nights. You know, Wily didn't even get a chance to really get out there and get ready."