Asdrubal Cabrera clubbed a go-ahead, two-run double as part of a three-run sixth inning that helped the Cleveland Indians complete a three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals with a 6-4 decision Sunday at Progressive Field.
Jason Kipnis added a run-scoring single in the rally and finished with two RBI, while Carlos Santana collected three hits and an RBI for the Indians, who have won four straight and head into the All-Star break just 1 1/2 games behind the Detroit Tigers for first place in the AL Central.
"We wanted to push ourselves," said Kipnis. "The deal was sweep them going into the break. Now everyone is in good spirits and feeling well."
Rich Hill (1-1) was awarded the victory after recording the final two outs of the sixth. Chris Perez worked around a one-out double in the ninth to secure his 13th save of the season.
Alcides Escobar plated a pair of runs, while Alex Gordon and Johnny Giavotella added an RBI apiece for the Royals, who have lost five straight games.
"Got his pitch count up real early, was grinding," said Royals manager Ned Yost about starter James Shields. "He got us through five with the lead."
Tim Collins (2-5) was tagged with the loss after giving up all three runs while recording just one out in the sixth.
Escobar's run-scoring single in the fourth staked the Royals to a 4-3 lead, but the Tribe pushed three runs across in the sixth to seize control.
Collins took over for Shields to start the sixth and promptly walked Lonnie Chisenhall before serving up a single to Drew Stubbs.
After both runners moved up a base on Michael Bourn's sacrifice bunt, Cabrera stroked a double to center to plate a pair of runs for a 5-4 lead.
Everett Teaford took over on the mound and was greeted by Kipnis, who stroked a run-scoring single to center to push the margin to 6-4.
The Indians' bullpen held the Royals at bay from there, as five Cleveland relievers combined for five scoreless innings of two-hit ball in relief of starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who gave up all four runs on eight hits over four-plus frames.
Kipnis' sacrifice fly in the first gave Cleveland the early edge, but the Royals responded with two runs in the second to jump in front.
Consecutive singles from Lorenzo Cain and David Lough preceded Giavotella's walk that loaded the bases for Escobar, who lifted a sac fly to center to score Cain.
Gordon then scorched a single to right to score Lough for a 2-1 lead.
Cleveland countered with two runs in the third when Michael Brantley smacked an RBI single and scored on Santana's double to right to make it 3-2 Indians.
Kansas City regained control in the fourth when Cain worked a leadoff walk and swiped second before moving to third when Santana's throw sailed into center.
Giavotella grounded out to score Cain and tie the game before Escobar singled to left to plate Lough for a 4-3 lead.
Cleveland reliever C.C. Lee made his major league debut in the fifth and allowed just one walk over 1 1/3 hitless frames ... Shields allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks over five innings ... Both teams finished 3- for-13 with runners in scoring position.