Kansas City, Mo. Mike Clevinger had no apprehension turning over a one-run lead in the sixth inning to the Cleveland bullpen.
Clevinger and four relievers combined for a one-hitter as the Indians beat the Kansas City Royals, 1-0, Sunday.
Carlos Santana had three hits, including an RBI single in the fifth that followed Yan Gomes’ double for the game’s only run.
“We’re not hitting on all cylinders,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “But it’s a heck of a lot better to win 1-0 instead of losing 1-0.”
Clevinger (1-0), making his first start in place of the injured Corey Kluber, gave up a double to Salvador Perez with one out in the fourth for the Royals’ hit. He walked four and struck out five in 5 2/3 innings, and was removed after throwing 91 pitches.
“A lot of worry,” Clevinger said and laughed about the Indians’ bullpen holding the lead. “Once the ball is handed off to the bullpen, I knew we were in safe hands.”
Boone Logan came on and walked Eric Hosmer, before Bryan Shaw replaced him and struck out all four batters he faced. Andrew Miller pitched a perfect eighth — keeping his ERA at 0.00 over 15 2/3 innings this season — and Cody Allen recorded the last three outs, getting Brandon Moss on a fly ball with two runners on for his ninth save in nine chances.
“I made it a little interesting in the ninth,” Allen said.
The last time the Royals were limited to one hit was Sept. 25, 2015 against the Indians.
Danny Duffy (2-3), who had given up 12 runs and 19 hits over 9 2/3 innings in losing his previous two starts, held the Indians to one run and six hits over 6 2/3 innings.
“Right now we’re going through a scuffle,” Duffy said. “We’re going through a patch. It stinks in the moment, but we know we’re the only ones who can pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off.”
Perez’s double in the fourth followed a walk to Eric Hosmer, but Clevinger struck out Jorge Soler and Jorge Bonifacio to strand the runners.
“Obviously, the intensity is a little higher there,” Clevinger said. “But don’t get out of myself, stay within myself, stay with what I can control, what I can do.”
In the ninth, Allen hit Lorenzo Cain with a pitch to open the inning. He then got Hosmer on a fly ball and struck out Perez before walking Soler. Pinch hitter Moss flied out to center to end the game.
“We’re not scoring,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “We’re striking out way too many times.”
A swarm of bees was discovered in Kauffman Stadium’s upper deck Sunday morning. Jeff Diekmann, a member of the tarp crew and a beekeeper, helped remove the bees unharmed.
Royals players Hosmer, Moss, Travis Wood, Whit Merrifield and Drew Butera attended a Garth Brooks concert Saturday night in Kansas City. They had backstage passes and met the country singer after the show.
Indians: LF Michael Brantley left in the fourth inning because of a right ankle sprain. Lonnie Chisenhall replaced him. Francona said it is “not a dreaded high ankle sprain” and is optimistic Brantley will not miss more than a day or two.
Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer, who is 1-2 with a 7.31 ERA in three road starts, is the probable tonight at Toronto.
Royals: RHP Nathan Karns will start Monday night at Tampa Bay in the opener of a four-game series.