Indians 3, Royals 2: Jason Kipnis walk-off homer wins it in extras

Ryan Lewis, Akron Beacon Journal on

Published in Baseball

CLEVELAND -- Jason Kipnis worked to fix his swing just over a weekend ago in Detroit. Since that time, he's been one of the hottest hitters in baseball.

It was only fitting, then, that Kipnis was the one to end a long night of baseball with a walk-off home run in the 10th inning to lift the Cleveland Indians to a 3-2 extra innings win over the Kansas City Royals Monday night.

The Indians (43-35) and Royals (27-52) battled back and forth on a night that included a two-hour, 23-minute rain delay before the game was sent to extra innings. Kipnis, leading off the 10th, drilled the second pitch he saw from Royals reliever Wily Peralta over the right-field wall, ending the game early Wednesday morning.

Kipnis entered the game hitting .500 with three extra-base hits and 10 RBI over the past week, putting a surge into an Indians offense. And for a night -- or, technically, a morning -- he was the hero as well.

The Indians threatened to end it in the ninth but fell just short. Jordan Luplow walked and Francisco Lindor reached via an infield single to eventually put runners on the corners with one out, but Oscar Mercado struck out and Carlos Santana was retired with a nice play by Royals third baseman Hunter Dozier.

Nick Wittgren couldn't escape the eighth inning unscathed as the Indians held onto a one-run lead. Martin Maldonado opened the inning by nearly tying it in one swing, lining a double off the top of the wall in left field. Wittgren battled to record the first two outs of the inning, but Nicky Lopez sliced a double down the left-field line to tie it.

Following the two-hour, 23-minute rain delay, Bobby Bradley stepped to the plate in the bottom of the sixth with a runner on and the Indians and Royals deadlocked 1-1. Royals reliever Brian Flynn left a fastball up in the zone and Bradley lined it just over second baseman Lopez and into the gap in right-center field to score Jose Ramirez all the way from first.


That double gave the Indians their first lead of the night. In his major-league debut on Sunday, Bradley also hit an RBI double in his first at-bat.

Adam Plutko had his start shortened by the rain but threw an effective four innings. He had a no-hitter going through the first three innings until Whit Merrifield led off the fourth with a solo blast to the bleacher seats in left field, putting the Royals up 1-0.

After the rain stopped, the Indians quickly erased their one-run deficit. Santana led off the bottom of the fourth with a double and two batters later, Ramirez followed with a double of his own to tie the game 1-1.

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