CLEVELAND (AP) – Franmil Reyes hit a three-run homer to help Cleveland beat the Kansas City Royals 4-2 on Saturday night in a game in which the Indians lost third baseman Jose Ramirez to a right wrist injury.
Reyes’ 30th homer of the season highlighted a four-run third inning against the Royals’ Glenn Sparkman (3-9). Reyes has three homers since being acquired from San Diego on July 31.
With the win, Cleveland moved ahead of Tampa Bay into one of the two AL wild-card spots.
Ramirez, a two-time All-Star, left the game in the first inning after fouling off a pitch. He immediately bent over in pain before walking off the field with a trainer. A team spokesman said he exited with “right wrist discomfort.”
Mike Clevinger (9-2) struck out eight and allowed one run over 5 2/3 innings, remaining unbeaten in his career against Kansas City and improving to 4-0 at home this season. The right-hander is 9-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 14 appearances against the Royals.
Brad Hand worked a scoreless ninth for his 31st save. It was his second conversion in two nights following three straight blown saves.
Mike Freeman, who replaced Ramirez, had two hits and drove in Oscar Mercado to open the scoring in front of the second sellout of the season at Progressive Field.
The Royals pulled within 4-1 in the fourth when Meibrys Viloria doubled home Cheslor Cuthbert. A fielder’s choice by Jorge Soler scored Humberto Arteaga in the seventh.
Cuthbert doubled in the sixth to end a 0-for-40 slump. His previous hit was a two-run homer on August 8 at Detroit.
Sparkman allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings, extending his winless streak to seven starts. The right-hander has faced Cleveland four times this season, going 0-3 with a 9.15 ERA.
In the third, umpire Ed Hickox was struck squarely on the top of his mask by a wild pitch thrown by Sparkman, but remained behind the plate.