CLEVELAND (AP) — Hunter Dozier’s grand slam capped Kansas City’s stunning five-run rally in the ninth inning off Cleveland closer Brad Hand, giving the Royals an 8-6 win over the Indians on Tuesday night.
Hand (4-3) was a perfect 22 for 22 in save chances and likely on his way to being an All-Star. But the left-hander did not record an out against the Royals, who entered the ninth down 6-3 before storming back.
Nicky Lopez had an RBI infield single before Kansas City loaded the bases and Dozier connected on Hand’s first pitch for his first career grand slam and 13th homer.
It was an unexpected comeback by the Royals, who have blown leads in a major league-leading 27 games.
Hand looked shaky from the outset, and was pulled after allowing five hits in just 13 pitches.
Kevin McCarthy (2-1) pitched the eighth and stumbled into a win, and Ian Kennedy worked the ninth for his 10th save, striking out Carlos Santana with a runner at second for the final out.
Tyler Naquin hit a two-run homer and Santana, Roberto Perez and Mike Freeman had solo shots for the Indians, who were three outs away from their fifth straight win before Hand imploded.
After the Royals tied it 3-3 in the sixth on Lucas Duda’s RBI double, Jason Kipnis walked to open the Indians’ sixth. Royals starter Glenn Sparkman retired the next two hitters, but Naquin made him pay for hanging a curveball with his fifth homer.
In the fifth, Perez connected for his 14th homer, a lined shot that scarcely cleared the wall in right. Perez entered 2019 with just 21 career homers in four-plus big league seasons, but has given the Indians some-much needed power.
Three pitches later, Freeman pulled his second homer into the seats in right.
Indians starter Shane Bieber worked 5 2/3 innings, avoiding trouble in the third and fourth with inning-ending double plays.
However, first baseman Santana’s error — he made a diving stop, but a poor toss to Bieber covering first — helped the Royals take a 2-1 lead in the fifth when White Merrifield hit a two-run double.
Royals: LHP Eric Skoglund’s 80-game suspension for testing positive for banned performance-enhancing drugs ends Wednesday. Skoglund was in the mix to make Kansas City’s rotation before the ban. He’s made three minor league rehab starts and will be added to the 40-man roster.
Indians: RHP Mike Clevinger will be activated Friday to start the series opener in Baltimore. Clevinger has been sidelined with a sprained ankle sustained in his first start after returning from an eight-week stint on the injured list with a strained back muscle. Manager Terry Francona said Clevinger’s bullpen session was intense. “Looked like Game 7 of the World Series,” he said. … OF Jake Bauers felt better after rolling his left ankle during batting practice Monday. Bauers was initially scared he was more seriously injured. “He said he almost kind of blacked out,” said Francona, who was surprised to learn Bauers had never sprained an ankle. “I could do that sleeping,” he cracked.
Royals: RHP Jakob Junis (4-6, 5.18 ERA) makes his seventh career start against the Indians. He pitched seven innings of two-hit ball against Cleveland on Sept. 3.
Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer (5-6, 3.69) is winless in his last eight starts at home. He allowed a season-high tying 10 hits in his last start on June 21 at Detroit.
Parade grand marshals
CLEVELAND — Jim Thome and Sandy Alomar Jr will lead a group of more than 70 Major League Baseball All-Stars along the red carpet July 9 as the MLB All-Star Game parade winds through downtown along East 9th Street to Progressive Field.
Thome and Alomar were named grand marshals for the parade by MLB on Tuesday. Fans can line the street and greet the Cleveland Indians legends along with all of the 2019 All-Stars during the parade that steps off at 12:30 p.m.
The event is free to the public as part of the MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show, which will air at 3 p.m. on MLB Network.
The parade starts on Lakeside Avenue and West Mall Drive, weaving between Play Ball Park on Malls B and C. All-Stars are set to travel east on Lakeside before turning down East 9th Street while riding in Chevrolet Silverado trucks. The parade ends outside the park’s Right Field Gate.
Fans are encouraged to line these city streets and welcome the 2019 All-Stars to Cleveland as they head to the 90th All-Star Game.
Thome and Alomar will ride in the parade in a Corvette, while All-Star managers, Alex Cora and Dave Roberts will each travel the parade route in Camaro convertibles.
Mascots representing a variety of MLB clubs plan to walk the parade route, interacting with fans and giving away special All-Star keepsakes. At the end of the parade, the Commissioner’s Trophy, presented each year to the World Series Champion, will arrive at the park.
Celebrity softball rosters
CLEVELAND — The rosters of the MLB Celebrity Softball Game include an Olympic gymnast, a professional wrestler, an actress from “Stranger Things,” former Indians and others.
The game is Sunday, July 7, at Progressive Field. Teams will be broken into a “Cleveland vs. The World” showdown. Gates open at 3 p.m. with first pitch set for 5 p.m.
Participants slated to appear:
• Johnny Bananas, MTV Challenge
• Stephanie Beatriz, actress, “Brooklyn 99”
• Simone Biles, Olympic gold medalist
• Comedian and talk-show host Drew Carey
• Priah Ferguson, actress, “Stranger Things”
• Jennie Finch, softball Olympian
• Jamie Foxx, Academy Award-winning actor
• Max Greenfield, actor, “New Girl”
• Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs tight end and Cleveland Heights High School graduate
• Musician-actor Machine Gun Kelly
• Allie LaForce, Turner Sports broadcaster
• Jerry Lorenzo, fashion/sneaker designer
• Anthony Mackie, actor, “Avengers”
• MMA fighter Stipe Miocic
• WWE star Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, reigning MLB Celebrity Softball MVP
• Dascha Polanco, actress, “Orange is the New Black”
• Television host and Cleveland native Dr. Oz
• Quincy, actor, “Star”
• Scott Rogowsky, comedian and host on video-streaming network DAZN
• Cleveland Cavalier J.R. Smith
• Colton Underwood, former NFL player and television personality
• Daddy Yankee, Reggaeton recording artist
Former Indians scheduled to participate include Jim Thome, Kenny Lofton, Carlos Baerga, Mike Napoli and Travis Hafner along with Ryan Howard.
Emcees are Chris Rose and Kevin Millar, co-hosts of MLB Network’s “Intentional Talk.”
The softball game is part of several events Sunday at Progressive Field, including musical performances and the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game featuring Minor League prospects and fireworks. Head to mlb.com/all-star for more about All-Star weekend festivities.
Santana in Derby
CLEVELAND — Carlos Santana’s return to Cleveland has already been pretty special this season. A call Santana received Tuesday will only continue that trend.
The Indians first baseman and DH has accepted an invitation to participate in the 2019 Home Run Derby at Progressive Field during All-Star Week in Cleveland, he told cleveland.com.
“They told me today,” Santana said before Tuesday’s game against the Royals. “They told me today that I’m going to the Home Run Derby if I accepted, and I said yes.”
Santana, who will hit from the left side during the contest, has said for weeks now that he’d love the opportunity. Now that it has arrived, he’s certainly excited for the moment.
“I’m happy for me, I’m happy for my family, happy for my teammates, I’m happy for my teammates, I’m happy for the organization,” Santana said. “I have the opportunity to represent (Cleveland) at the Home Run Derby. It’s a good experience for me. We’ll see what happens, but I’m going to try to enjoy the moment.”
Santana has a team-leading 17 homers in 77 games this season, nearing the 24 total home runs he hit in 2018 with Philadelphia.
The Home Run Derby will take place at 8 p.m. Monday, July 8, at Progressive Field and will be shown live on ESPN.