July 15, 2024

José Ramírez hits a grand slam as Guardians beat Royals 14-1, move into 1st in AL Central

Kansas City Royals' Matt Duffy hits a single during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox in Chicago, Sunday, May 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

By MARC BOWMAN Associated Press
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — José Ramírez hit his fifth career grand slam and the Cleveland Guardians beat the Kansas City Royals 14-1 on Wednesday night, moving into first place in the AL Central despite a losing record.
Ramírez lined a first-pitch cutter from Austin Cox into the left-field bullpen after Cox opened the third by allowing a single and two walks. It was the slugger’s 13th homer this season. Ramírez added an RBI double in the seventh and is hitting .411 (30-for-73) with 14 extra-base hits over his last 18 games.
Josh Bell’s two-run blast, a 464-foot shot into the right-field fountains, gave Cleveland a 6-0 lead in the fifth. Bell added a two-run double in the sixth as the Guardians batted around against James McArthur, who made his major league debut.
Cleveland (39-40) played its second straight game without manager Terry Francona, who was hospitalized overnight and told by doctors to rest after he felt lightheaded before Tuesday’s game.
Bo Naylor connected for his first major league home run, a two-run line drive to left-center during the seven-run sixth. He had a career-high three hits.
Nick Sandlin (4-3), the first of four Guardians relievers, got four outs for the win. Starter Logan Allen worked out of several jams, allowing six baserunners over 3 2/3 innings.
Making his first major league start, Cox (0-1) allowed his first runs after 12 1/3 scoreless relief innings to begin his career. He surrendered four runs on four hits, walking four and striking out two in 3 2/3 innings.
The Guardians have won seven of nine to surpass Minnesota (40-42) in the division standings.
First baseman Matt Duffy pitched a scoreless ninth for the Royals, who have lost 10 of their last 12 series, with two splits.
Royals: 2B Nicky Lopez left the game after being hit by a pitch on his right hand.
With the Guardians seeking a three-game sweep, Shane Bieber (5-5, 3.69 ERA) will oppose Kansas City’s Zach Greinke (1-8, 5.31) on Thursday.