Alcides Escobar drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning as the Kansas City Royals completed a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians with a 7-6 win on Thursday at Kauffman Stadium.
Eric Hosmer got the rally started with a single leading off the frame, moved to second on a perfect sacrifice bunt from Chris Getz and took third on a wild pitch by Indians pitcher Esmil Rodgers (1-1). Alex Gordon was intentionally walked to put runners on the corners for Escobar against Cleveland closer Chris Perez.
Perez took control early in the at-bat, getting Escobar to swing over two sliders to move the count to 0-2. But Escobar stayed composed and slapped a 1-2 fastball through the left side of the infield for his first career walk- off hit.
Aaron Crow (2-1) was credited with the win after tossing a scoreless top of the inning.
Hosmer smoked a three-run home run and Gordon added a solo shot for the Royals, who earned the sweep on the heels of a five-game slide.
Carlos Santana ripped a two-run long ball and finished with four RBI, while Michael Brantley and Vinny Rottino also knocked in runs for the Tribe, who have dropped their last six games.
Kansas City opened the scoring in a big way in their first at-bat, putting up six runs. Gordon led off the frame with a rocket over the wall in right and Escobar singled and stole second before scoring via a Lorenzo Cain base hit. Brayan Pena walked three batters later and Hosmer clobbered a three-run shot deep over the wall in straightaway center field, making it 5-0.
Getz laced a triple into the right-field corner and scored when Jarrod Dyson poked a base hit into right.
"It's great to put some runs on the board early," said Getz. "I feel like we've done it this whole series. We've had that big inning and it put us in the driver's seat, but obviously they came back tonight. It just shows even though you put up that big inning that you've got to keep grinding away."
The Indians got a run back in the second on a sacrifice fly by Rottino, and added three more runs in the third to cut the deficit to two.
Shin-Soo Choo ripped a one-out single up the middle and Brent Lillibridge and Asdrubal Cabrera followed with consecutive singles to load the bases. Santana smoked a two-run single into right and Brantley capped the frame with a sacrifice fly, scoring Cabrera.
Lillibridge began the Cleveland fifth with a solid base hit to left before trotting home when Santana got a hanging curveball from Royals pitcher Everett Teaford and smoked it over the wall in right, tying the game at six.
"After five really tough losses and them going up 6-0 in the first inning, we just scored one and added one, then scored a couple more and got the tie," said Lillibridge. "We really thought we were going to win this game. We were going to pull it through."
It was Hosmer's first home run since June 25...Cleveland fell to 6-14 since the All-Star break...The Indians have lost more than five straight for the first time since dropping seven in a row from June 19-26 2010...Cleveland went 3-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left four on base...Royals starter Bruce Chen allowed four runs on seven hits and a walk in 2 2/3 innings...Cleveland starter Corey Kluber was charged for six runs on nine hits over 4 1/3 innings.