Kansas City, MO – Kansas City didn't let another game get away Wednesday night.
The Royals rebounded from a disappointing setback to post a 7-2 win over the Cleveland Indians in the rubber match of a critical three-game set at Kauffman Stadium.
Salvador Perez and Alcides Escobar each had two RBI for the Royals, who squandered a 3-0 lead in Tuesday's costly 5-3 loss.
Cleveland could have grabbed hold of the second AL wild-card spot with a win. Instead, the Indians remained a half-game behind Texas. The Royals are two games back of the Indians.
"Every game is a must win," said Royals starter Bruce Chen.
Kansas City jumped on Cleveland rookie Danny Salazar (1-3) for three first- inning runs. Eric Hosmer kept the frame alive with a two-out single, and Perez followed a Billy Butler walk with a two-run double. Perez advanced to third on the throw home and wound up scoring on a wild pitch.
Chen (8-3) retired the Indians in order in four of the first five innings. The lone exception was the third during which Cleveland trimmed its deficit to 3-2.
Yan Gomes led off with a single and Michael Brantley doubled, with an error by center fielder Jarrod Dyson allowing Gomes to score. After Mike Aviles sacrificed the runner to third, Michael Bourn plated Brantley with a sac fly.
The Royals got a run back in the fifth, as one-out singles by Escobar and Alex Gordon put men on the corners. Gordon then got caught in a rundown while attempting to swipe second. Cleveland first baseman Nick Swisher fired across the diamond as Escobar broke for home. Another rundown materialized, but Escobar dropped to the ground, ducking the tag by the catcher Gomes, scrambled to his feet and scored.
Cleveland had a rally brewing in the sixth, as Chen walked Swisher after Bourn led off the inning with a single. The Kansas City bullpen shut down the threat, with Francisley Bueno and Louis Coleman combining to preserve the Royals' 4-2 lead.
Kansas City put up another three-spot in the eighth. Dyson drew a walk with the bases loaded and Escobar singled home a pair.
"It was a tough game, but that's a good team over there," Swisher said.
The Royals' 42 home wins this season are the most since 2000 ... Salazar tossed six innings ... Kansas City outhit the Indians, 10-5 ... Despite the loss, Cleveland still won the seasons series, 10-9 ... Cleveland's Carlos Santana went 0-for-4 to snap his 12-game hitting streak.