CLEVELAND (TNS) — The first inning Friday at Progressive Field turned into the scoring runs inning.
The visiting Kansas City Royals scored two runs in the top of the first and the Indians followed with three runs in the bottom half of the inning.
The 3-2 advantage for the Indians held up and gave them a victory in the 25th home opener at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario.
A crowd of 34,720 braved cool temperatures and a steady wind to watch offense in the first inning and efficient pitching during the final eight innings.
Michael Brantley made his 2018 season debut and delivered a single that scored Jason Kipnis and Jose Ramirez to give the Indians the 3-2 lead they never relinquished.
Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco worked through a tough first inning to give manager Terry Francona six innings. Nick Goody, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen each pitched a scoreless inning in relief.
The Royals took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning with Jon Jay and Whit Merrifield each scoring a run. Jay singled to open the inning and Merrifield followed with a double. A Mike Moustakas ground out brought in Jay, and Merrifield came in on a broken-bat single by Lucas Duda.
The Indians responded with three runs in the bottom of the first inning as left-hander Danny Duffy struggled with his control. Francisco Lindor and Kipnis reached on walks to start the rally. Ramirez followed with an RBI single, Edwin Encarnacion walked and Brantley smacked his two-run single.
Duffy and Carrasco both regrouped from subpar first innings to give their managers some length. Carrasco retired 13 batters in a row after giving up two runs, and Duffy retired 16 out of 18 batters after allowing three runs.
The Royals loaded the bases in the sixth inning with one out, but Carrasco got Duda to strikeout and Cheslor Cuthbert to lineout to Brantley in left field.
Brandon Guyer hit a double with one out in the sixth inning and Rajai Davis hit a double to lead off the seventh inning, but both Indians outfielders were stranded on base.
Carrasco struck out four and allowed two earned runs, five hits and one walk. Goody struck out one in his one inning, Miller worked around two base runners and struck out three and Allen recorded one strikeout before a 6-4-3 double play ended the game.
Duffy struck out three and allowed three earned runs, three hits and three walks in his 5.2 innings.