Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Michael Brantley's eighth-inning single knocked in the deciding run as the Cleveland Indians came through with a somewhat controversial 2-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
Brantley's two-out hit off Wade Davis came shortly after Jose Ramirez was ruled safe on a potential double-play grounder, with the close call upheld following an unsuccessful challenge from the Royals.
The run was the first allowed by Davis (2-1) in 23 innings of work this season, and ultimately sent slumping Kansas City to a sixth loss in seven games.
Resurgent Cleveland has now prevailed in 11 of its last 14, with Carlos Carrasco turning in a third straight winning start with seven strong innings and Brandon Moss going 3-for-4 with a solo homer to pace the offense.
"This was an all-around team win," said Brantley. "We got key contributions from all parts of the game, and this is a huge one for us to win it like this."
Carrasco (7-4) held the Royals to five hits and struck out eight.
Jeremy Guthrie allowed a run on two hits over 5 2/3 effective innings for Kansas City. Eric Hosmer drove in the Royals' lone run with a single in the third.
"We were battling but it was a pitchers duel tonight," said Hosmer. "We just have to find a way to produce some more runs because we're obviously not doing it right now."
With the game tied at 1-1, Davis had walked Michael Bourn to open the eighth before Ramirez hit a chopper to second in which the Royals were able to get the lead runner, and replays appeared to show that Alcides Escobar's relay to first had reached Hosmer's mitt an instant prior to Ramirez's foot touching the bag.
The play was determined to be inconclusive and the ruling stood, however, and Jason Kipnis swiped second without a throw after Ramirez was forced out at second. Following a walk to Carlos Santana, Brantley laced Davis' curveball up the middle to bring in Kipnis for a 2-1 advantage.
Four Cleveland relievers kept the Royals off the basepaths the rest of the way. Nick Hagadone, Bryan Shaw and Marc Rzepczynski each recorded an out in the eighth, while Cody Allen fanned two in a perfect ninth to notch his 12th save.
Though lifted after throwing 105 pitches with two out in the sixth, Guthrie bounced back in a big way after being shelled for four homers and 11 runs while getting just three outs against the Yankees in his last outing. The veteran righty yielded only a first-inning walk until Moss ended an 11-pitch battle with a blast into the home bullpen in right that tied the score at 1-1 in the fourth.
The Royals, meanwhile, stranded three over the first two innings before breaking through against Carrasco in the third. Mike Moustakas singled and advanced a base on a wild pitch before Hosmer drove him home with a two-out hit to center for the game's initial run.
Carrasco was dominant thereafter, permitting just one more hit and retiring the final 11 men he faced.
Carrasco turned in a seventh consecutive start of six-plus innings, six or more strikeouts and three or fewer walks. It's the third-longest such stretch in Indians history, trailing only teammate Corey Kluber (9 starts) and CC Sabathia (8) ... Hosmer has 12 RBI in seven games against Cleveland this season ... Moss is now 7-of-16 with three homers lifetime against Guthrie ... Cleveland improved to 7-1 in its last eight road tilts ... The Indians are just 5-12 in series openers, but have won four of their last six.