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CLE@KC: Tribe tallies ten runs in the fourth inning

KANSAS CITY -- So much for the notion that the Indians might show up at Kauffman Stadium a bit rusty following a two-day layoff due to rainy weather.

On the contrary, Cleveland's offense could hardly have been sharper in a 19-1 victory over the Royals on Monday night. The Indians simply hit and hit and hit, punctuated by a 10-run rally in the fourth inning.

Capitalizing on the fact that Kansas City starter Kyle Davies left the game in the first inning because of right interior shoulder soreness, the Indians pecked away for two runs in the first and another run in the second. Then the real rampage took place in the fourth, when the Indians scored 10, highlighted by Travis Hafner's three-run double and Michael Brantley's three-run homer.

"You never want to see somebody get hurt on the mound," Indians shortstop Orlando Cabrera said. "But getting into their bullpen, we felt like we could do some damage."

Did they ever. The 10-run rally against reliever Vin Mazzaro -- who originally was scheduled to start Tuesday night -- marked the second time this year Cleveland has scored 10 runs in an inning. The Indians also scored 10 in the fourth inning on April 8 at Seattle.

Mazzaro was charged with 14 earned runs in 2 1/3 innings of relief. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Mazzaro is the first pitcher in modern baseball history (since 1900) to allow 14 or more runs in less than three innings.

Indians manager Manny Acta looked through all the robust offensive heroics and found a little bloop single by Cabrera in the first to be the catalyst for what turned into a rout.

After Davies walked three of the first four hitters and left with the shoulder problem, reliever Nate Adcock fanned Hafner with the bases loaded and got two quick strikes on Cabrera. But Cabrera refused to let the Royals off the hook and dumped a two-run single to right.

"If he doesn't get that two-run single there, the momentum could have shifted," Acta said.

Cabrera said two-out production has been a huge part of Cleveland's early-season success.

"We've been scoring a lot of runs with two outs, and that at-bat was important," Cabrera said. "I just wanted to put the ball in play. I wasn't trying to do too much and I got lucky. I put a good swing on the sinker and the ball dropped in right field."

The Indians added a run in the second and then went to work in earnest in the fourth, after Mazzaro relieved Adcock in the third and got three quick outs. It was 4-0 when Hafner's slicing double to left-center drove home three, and it simply snowballed thereafter against a laboring Mazzaro, who stayed on to keep the Royals from further extending their bullpen.

Indians starter Josh Tomlin was the recipient of all that run support and, after a mentally taxing couple of days, he delivered six solid innings, allowing just one run.

Tomlin had been told he was in line to pitch Saturday, and then went through a full warmup session before Sunday's game was called just prior to the first pitch.

Tomlin (5-1) has now gone five or more innings in all 20 of his career appearances.

"Nothing seems to bother him," Acta said. "He held down a team that is one of the best hitting teams in the league right now."

The Indians recorded an all-time high run total against the Royals, and the 19 runs were the most by Cleveland since a 22-4 victory over the Yankees on April 18, 2009.

Once Tomlin saw the 10 runs go on the board in the fourth, he only had one thought.

"Throw strikes," Tomlin said. "Sometimes you can lose focus a little bit, but for the most part [the run support] puts you at ease because you can go after them."

Mazzaro had two outs in the fourth with just one run in when the Indians exploded for nine more.

"I came into a tough situation and I was a little unprepared," Mazzaro said. "But you've got to go out there and attack the zone and try to eat up innings and save the bullpen."

Indians first baseman Matt LaPorta led a 20-hit attack with a 4-for-4 night and four RBIs. The four hits and four RBIs represented career highs.

"It's contagious," LaPorta said. "You see guys in front of you get hits and you want to be right there driving them in."

Contagious, indeed. It was a night when practically all the Indians hit in feverish fashion. Comments