CLEVELAND (AP) — For someone who just endured a beer bath, T.J. House was all smiles.
House allowed three runs over 6 2-3 innings for his first major league win as the Cleveland Indians beat the Kansas City Royals 7-3 on Saturday night.
House’s teammates celebrated the occasion by dousing him with beer, something the rookie left-hander didn’t mind one bit.
“I got rolled into this little cart and they gave me a shower,” he said. “It was nice. I enjoyed it. I’d take one every time we get a win.”
House (1-2) scattered nine hits, struck out three and didn’t walk a batter. He was making the eighth appearance, and seventh start, of his career.
“It feels great,” House said. “I hadn’t had one yet, but the time came and it was the right time, at home in front of the fans.”
Michael Bourn’s leadoff homer sparked a three-run third inning while Nick Swisher’s bases-loaded single scored two runs in the fifth and finished Jeremy Guthrie (5-7).
Michael Brantley had three hits, including an RBI single in the eighth, for Cleveland.
Bourn left the game after scoring the Indians’ final run because of tightness in his left hamstring. He had surgery on the hamstring in October and began the season on the disabled list. Bourn also missed several games in May with the injury.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona said Bourn was examined following the game.
“We’ll know a lot more (Sunday),” Francona said.
House gave up a run in the first, another in the sixth and Danny Valencia hit a leadoff homer in the seventh. But House retired the next two hitters then was pulled after throwing 87 pitches.
Kansas City loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth against closer Cody Allen, pitching in a non-save situation. Allen struck out Lorenzo Cain on a 3-2 pitch before Eric Hosmer swung at the first pitch and bounced into a game-ending double play.
“I think I had Cain in swing mode because he swung at ball four,” Allen said. “I was trying to use Hosmer’s aggressiveness against him because he was trying to tie it up right there.”
House, taken in the 16th round of the 2008 draft, began the season at Triple-A Columbus. He made five starts with the Indians from May 23-June 14 before being sent back to the minors. He was recalled a week ago and lost to Seattle on Sunday against Felix Hernandez, a game in which the Indians were held to one hit.
“He’s pitched well enough to have a win before now,” Francona said. “He’s shown he can get major league hitters out. He’s got a lot of poise out there.”
Hosmer’s RBI groundout in the first gave Kansas City the lead.
Bourn’s third homer of the season tied the game. Jason Kipnis put Cleveland ahead with an RBI double and Lonnie Chisenhall added a run-scoring single.
Kansas City added a run in the sixth, but House struck out Billy Butler with two runners on to end the inning.
“He did a nice job of limiting the damage and threw the ball very well,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Every time we got something going, he found a way to put an end to it.”
Cleveland loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth before Swisher, who was batting .193 and struck out in his first two at-bats, lined a 1-2 pitch to right-center. The hit pushed the lead to 5-1 and gave Guthrie his shortest outing of the season. The right-hander was charged with six runs and allowed a season-high 11 hits in four-plus innings.
Chisenhall was 2 for 3 and raised his batting average to .342, but he doesn’t have enough plate appearances to be listed among the league leaders. Cleveland’s third baseman is making a strong push to be named to the American League All-Star team, which will be announced Sunday. Chisenhall is hitting .350 (55 for 157) with nine homers and 36 RBIs in 44 games since May 14.
NOTES: Swisher has been taking fly balls in right field during pregame drills. He appeared in 27 games in the outfield in 2013, but has yet to play there this season. … Royals OF Nori Aoki (strained left groin) was eligible to come off the 15-day DL on Saturday, but will be sent on a rehab assignment in the next couple of days. Aoki, who is hitting .263, has been sidelined since June 21. … Indians C Yan Gomes, who started 70 of the first 85 games, was given the night off as George Kottaras started behind the plate. … Royals OF Alex Gordon snapped an 0-for-16 slump with a sixth-inning single. … Royals LHP Danny Duffy (5-7) takes on RHP Corey Kluber (7-6) in the three-game series finale Sunday.
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