Kansas City, Mo. Shin-Soo Choo sat at his locker in the Indians clubhouse, the bruise on the outside of his right knee just larger than a baseball and turning every shade of red and blue imaginable.
“It’s nothing,” he said with a smile.
Driving in the winning runs must have made the pain go away in a hurry.
After getting hit by a pitch early in the game, Choo delivered a two-out double in the 10th inning Saturday night that sent Cleveland to an 11-9 victory over Kansas City — despite blowing a seven-run lead in a testy affair marked by three ejections and a pair of bench-clearings.
“What a crazy kind of emotional game,” said Indians manager Manny Acta, who was among those thrown out during an eventful third inning. “Just glad we came out on top.”
Light-hitting Yuniesky Betancourt helped force extras when he homered in the eighth inning for the Royals, completing their bit-by-bit comeback from a 9-2 hole.
With two outs in the 10th, Choo pounded a pitch from Greg Holland (0-1) to center field that Jarrod Dyson tracked down at the wall. He appeared to have the ball in his glove before it popped loose, and Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley scored.
Jairo Asencio (1-1) earned his first major-league win by pitching a clean ninth inning, while Chris Perez set the Royals down in order for his second save of the season.
“Always you try to win games,” Choo said, “but especially tonight.”
Choo was plunked by Jonathan Sanchez in the third inning, sending both teams streaming onto the infield. Sanchez and Choo have some history: The left-hander broke Choo’s thumb last season by hitting him with a pitch. Choo wound up on the disabled list for nearly two months.
“I know it’s not on purpose. The catcher set up inside,” Choo said. “But I still have the memory from last year. Maybe I was a little sensitive.”