(Saturday, April 14th)
Final Score: Cleveland 11, Kansas City 9 (10 innings)
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Shin-Soo Choo belted the go-ahead two-run double in the top of the 10th inning as the Cleveland Indians survived blowing a seven-run lead and snuck past the Kansas City Royals, 11-9, in the middle game of a three-game set at Kauffman Stadium.
Choo was plunked in the thigh by a Jonathan Sanchez fastball in the third inning, provoking a benches-clearing situation which resulted in multiple ejections. He was booed heavily in his remaining at-bats by the home crowd, but came through in the clutch by ripping a fastball into left field off of Greg Holland (0-1).
Choo took exception to being thrown at and took a few steps toward the mound while yelling at Sanchez before being restrained by home plate umpire Gary Darling.
Choo and Sanchez already have a history, as it was a Sanchez fastball that broke Choo's left thumb on June 24 last season and caused him to miss nearly a month.
"I know it's not on purpose, the catcher set up inside," said Choo. "He (Sanchez) tried it inside, but missed. Still, I have a memory (from) last year. Maybe I am a little bit sensitive."
Asdrubal Cabrera went 3-for-6 with an RBI and two runs scored, Jason Kipnis crushed a two-run homer, Casey Kotchman added a solo shot, while Carlos Santana and Jose Lopez had two RBI apiece for the Indians, who have won the first two games in this series.
Jairo Asencio (1-1) picked up with win with a scoreless ninth inning and Chris Perez pitched a scoreless bottom of the 10th to earn his second save of the season.
Billy Butler and Moustakas drove in two runs each, while Yuniesky Betancourt cracked a solo homer and Eric Hosmer, Alcides Escobar and Jarrod Dyson each knocked in a run for the Royals, who have dropped four of their last five.
The Indians jumped on Kansas City in the third, plating five runs.
Michael Brantley started the rally with a triple over the head of Dyson and Cabrera followed with an RBI single up the middle to score Brantley.
The inning continued as Choo was plunked by Sanchez -- sparking the benches- clearing incident -- and Santana followed with an RBI double to bring home Cabrera and give the Indians a 2-0 edge. Shelley Duncan was then intentionally walked to load the bases with still only one out and Lopez then cracked a two- run double to left to make it 4-0.
Kotchman worked a walk to load the bags again and Jason Donald kept the big inning going with a sacrifice fly to drive in Duncan and cap the scoring.
The feistiness continued in the bottom of the third inning when Indians starter Jeanmar Gomez nailed the first batter he saw -- Royals third baseman Moustakas -- which once again brought players out of the dugouts. Once the dust settled, Gomez, Indians manager Manny Acta and Jack Hannahan were ejected and Josh Tomlin took over on the mound.
"I was real surprised," remarked Moustakas. "The guy had no hits and a five- run lead. I was out there and I was going to see a pitch no matter what I think of it. A five-run lead, I was going to see a pitch. It came in and the next one hit me."
Tomlin got Humberto Quintero to groundout before giving up an RBI triple to Escobar to get the Royals on the board. Dyson followed with a sacrifice fly to score Escobar and make it 5-2 for Cleveland.
The Indians responded in the fourth when Cabrera ripped a double to start the frame and came around to score on a base hit from Santana to extend the lead to 6-2.
The Tribe added three more runs in the fifth when Kotchman blasted one over the wall in right-center field to lead off the inning and following a Donald single, Kipnis crushed a ball over the wall in left-center to make it 9-2.
They would not score again until Choo's go-ahead hit. The Royals meanwhile, began their seven-run comeback in the home fifth.
Betancourt slapped a single to left to start the frame, moved to second on a wild pitch by Tomlin and trotted home on a double by Moustakas. The Kansas City third baseman then crossed the plate on a double-play ground out by Escobar to make it a 9-4 game.
In the sixth, the Royals added two more runs to pull within 9-6 when Jeff Francoeur led off with a single to right and came home on a double by Butler, who was then driven in by a Moustakas double later in the inning.
Kansas City continued to chip away and added two more runs in the seventh to make it a one-run game courtesy of an RBI double by Hosmer and an RBI single by Butler. Betancourt capped the comeback with a solo blast over the left field wall in the eighth.
The Indians won 12 of 18 versus the Royals last season...Sanchez gave up five runs on six hits and four walks in just 2 2/3 innings...Sanchez was just 4-7 in 19 starts last season...Gomez gave up one run and no hits in two innings before being sent to the clubhouse...The ejection was the seventh of Acta's career...Cleveland went 5-for-16 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine, while the Royals went 7-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded three.
04/15 00:56:30 ET