It took four rain delays of 3 hours 40 minutes and Matt LaPorta’s first career grand slam home run to give the Indians a 6-4 win over Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium.
TheTribe, playing before around 200 fans who remained out of the 18,112 who attended the game, took a 5-0 lead on La Porta’s fourth inning slam and held off the hosts, who rallied for four runs in the fifth on a pair of 2-run homers by Jai Miller and Mike Aviles.
In between rain drops, Michael Brantley went 2-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to 18 games, which puts him within three games of the Cleveland rookie record of 21 set in1948 by Larry Doby.
It is the longest hitting streak by an Indian since Casey Blake hit in 26 straight games in 2007
LaPorta, who had gone hitless in his previous 15 at-bats, hit his grand slam into straight center field and followed a RBI single by Shin-Soo Choo, who gave the Tribe a 1-0 advantage against Sean O’Sullivan (2-6).
Cleveland starter Justin Masterson only went 3.1 innings due to the rain delays and allowed three hits with four strike outs.
The rain stopped the game four times with the first delay being 36 minutes before the contest started. The second delay was for two minutes to start the fourth followed by a 1 hour 28 minute delay in the bottom of the fourh. When play resumed, Justin Germano took the mound for Cleveland. He got out of the fourth but surrendered four runs in the fifth on the home runs to Miller and Aviles.
The official scorer gave the win to Joe Smith (2-2), who pitched a scoreless seventh despite giving up two hits while striking out two.
The final rain delay was for 1 hour 39 minutes at the end of the sixth. Cleveland was able to add an insurance run in the eighth when Jayson Nix delivered an RBI single in a game that took 6 hours, 37 minutes including rain delays to complete.
Cleveland will look for its first sweep of a 3-game road series this season on Sunday afternoon against the Royals.
It is the fifth time Cleveland has taken the first two games of a 3-game set on the road. In each of the previous situations, Cleveland has lost the final game. TheTribe took the first two at Kansas City May 12-13 but lost the finale.
They had a chance at sweeping the Chicago White Sox after wins on June 4-5 only to fall in the third game.
Against Minnesota, the Indians were victorious July 19-20 only to be shut out in the third game. And on their most recent road trip, the Indians won the first two against the Los Angeles Angels Sept. 7-8 but were unable to complete the sweep when they lost 4-3 in 16 innings.
Cleveland will begin a 3-game series in Minnesota Monday before a return engagement with the Royals, playing a 4-game series with Kansas City starting Friday at Progressive Field. It is the start of the final home stand of the year that will conclude with a 3-game series with Detroit beginning Sept. 27.