Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Eric Hosmer homered, tripled and drove in four runs as the Kansas City Royals edged the Cleveland Indians 5-3 in the opener of a three-game AL Central series.
Jason Vargas (3-1) shrugged off Michael Brantley's two-run homer in the first inning and pitched six quality frames. He retired 14 of 15 hitters at one point and worked around a leadoff double in his last inning of work.
Alex Gordon went 2-for-3 with a walk, two runs scored and an RBI, and the Royals handed Danny Salazar his first loss of the season. Salazar (3-1) struck out nine over seven innings and was charged with four runs on five hits.
Vargas walked the second batter he faced, Carlos Santana, and Brantley followed by turning on an inside fastball and crushing it just inside the right-field foul pole for his second home run of the season.
The lead did not last long, as Hosmer sent a Salazar offering into the waterfall in left-center in the bottom half. Gordon singled and Kendrys Morales was hit by a pitch prior to the go-ahead blast.
"We needed a shutdown inning and we didn't get it," Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Both pitchers settled down from there, but the Royals tacked on an insurance run when Jarrod Dyson tripled and scored on a Gordon base hit in the fifth.
Lonnie Chisenhall took Kelvin Herrera deep in the eighth for the first home run allowed by the Royals reliever since July 26, 2013 -- a span of 105 1/3 innings.
Herrera set down the next three hitters he faced, and Hosmer got the run back with an RBI triple in the home half.
"We knew we had to step up and find a way to produce runs," Hosmer said.
Wade Davis worked around a two-out single in the ninth for his sixth save of the season.
Cleveland fell to 3-7 over its last 10 games ... Nick Swisher was activated off the disabled list and went 0-for-3 in his season debut. The Indians' designated hitter underwent surgery on both knees last August after batting .208 with a .278 on-base percentage, both career lows ... The Indians are 3-15 when allowing at least three runs ... The Indians have gone 1-8 in series openers.