CLEVELAND (AP) — Sandy Alomar Jr. won his first game as Indians manager as Jason Kipnis drove in three runs and Cleveland beat Kansas City 8-5 on Friday night, handing the Royals their sixth straight loss.
Alomar, one of the most popular players in franchise history, went from bench coach to interim manager when Manny Acta was fired Thursday.
David Huff (3-0) gave up three runs over six innings as Cleveland got its first three-game winning streak since July 3-5. Chris Perez closed Cleveland's fourth win in five games for his 39th save in 43 chances.
Cleveland had 16 hits, including a string of five straight with one out to score three runs off Will Smith (6-9) in the second inning.
Cleveland was 3½ games out of first place in the AL Central on July 26, but its playoff hopes quickly evaporated as the team lost 11 straight and 28 of 33. That led to Acta's demise.
Alomar said in his first pregame meeting with the media as manager that he doesn't intend any drastic moves over the final six games. The former All-Star catcher said the Indians have the talent to contend, but players must stay focused. He insisted the team did not quit on Acta and thanked the former manager for adding him to the staff three years ago and giving him the opportunity to grow.
General manager Chris Antonetti said Alomar and former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who spent 2001 as an Indians front office assistant, top the list of candidates for the full-time job.
Lonnie Chisenhall, Cord Phelps and Ezequiel Carrera all had three hits for Cleveland.
Alex Gordon had three hits for Kansas City, which took a 1-0 lead on Adam Moore's RBI double in the second.
Cleveland made it 3-1 in the bottom half. Carrera had an RBI single and Shin-Soo Choo followed with a run-scoring double high off the wall in left. Cord Phelps then singled home Carrera before Smith got Kipnis to hit into an inning-ending double play.