CLEVELAND: It was Francisco Lindor’s first day of rest this season. The lineup, for one day, was just fine without him.
With Lindor on the bench, the Indians exploded for 10 runs on 18 hits and Josh Tomlin went the distance to down the Kansas City Royals 10-1 Sunday afternoon at Progressive Field.
The Indians (25-23) scored all 10 runs between the third and seventh innings. Jason Kipnis started the scoring with an RBI single in the third and then capped it with a solo home run in the seventh. Kipnis finished the day 4-for-4 with a walk, two RBI and two runs scored.
The Indians’ 18 hits were the second most in a game this season.
“We know we can be playing better,” Kipnis said. “Games like this only reassure us that this is the type of product we can roll out there when everything is going well. This is the type of team we can be. So it’s frustrating when it doesn’t show up every day.”
Austin Jackson turned in his best game with the Indians, going 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI. Michael Brantley added a three-hit day and drove in a run. Carlos Santana also totaled three hits and drove in two runs, both on singles.
The Indians had been marred in an offensive slump for much of May. For one day, some of the pressure was off.
“We needed a day like that,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “It’s one day, but we still — I was happy for our hitters. They were able to relax a little bit. We were running the bases, going first to third. It was a needed game.”
Tomlin, meanwhile, had his best start of the season, never giving up the ball and allowing one run on six hits. He struck out two and walked none. The lone run came on a monster solo home run by Jorge Bonifacio in the fifth inning.
It was Tomlin’s fifth career complete game, the first since Sept. 15, 2015, also against the Royals.
“It was really fun to watch him pitch,” Francona said. “Today was one of those days where we say, ‘Maybe he’ll give up a solo,’ and, boy, did he ever, but it was one run. He moved on and [Eric] Hosmer hit a bullet, but fortunately it was right at Carlos.
“Other than that, he kind of took the sting out of their bats. The wind was blowing in and he threw strikes and he stayed out of the middle of the plate.”
Ryan Lewis can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ.