Royals topple Indians 7-2

Manager Ned Yost’s faith in Bruce Chen paid off for the Kansas

City Royals.

Chen worked five innings and Salvador Perez doubled home two

runs and the Royals beat the Cleveland Indians 7-2 on Wednesday

night.

The Royals, who have not made the playoffs since 1985, are 2 1/2

games back in the wild-card standings, while the Indians are a

half-game behind.

”I felt really good about Bruce being on the hill for us,”

Yost said. ”I just felt his veteran experience was going to be

crucial in a big game like this. My mindset was to get him through

the lineup twice and if we had any lead at all, to do some

maneuvering.

”A game of this magnitude you don’t play around. We’ve got 10

games left. You don’t play (around) with 10 games left especially

when they are this big. You get it out of the way and then you

worry about tomorrow tomorrow.”

Yost did some bullpen maneuvering to keep the lead.

”Every single game is a must win,” Chen said. ”We’re behind.

We’re trying to catch up. The bullpen did an outstanding job. We

have the best bullpen in the American League.”

Chen was pulled in the sixth after giving up a single to Michael

Bourn and walking Nick Swisher to lead off the inning.

”He does what he does,” Indians manager Terry Francona said of

Chen. ”He’s up, down, in, out. Nothing the same speed. He takes

the sting out of your bat. He really knows how to pitch.”

Francisley Bueno replaced Chen and recorded two outs with three

pitches.

After Jeff Kipnis advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt,

Bueno kept the runners put when Carlos Santana grounded out to

third baseman Mike Moustakas. Louis Coleman came in and retired

Ryan Raburn on a fly to right to strand the runners.

Royals relievers Tim Collins, Will Smith and Greg Holland

preserved the lead, allowing just one hit, to keep the team’s

playoff chances alive.

The Royals broke the game open with three runs off four Indians

pitchers in the eighth. Alcides Escobar had a two-run single on a

full-count off Carlos Carrasco, while Jarrod Dyson walked with the

bases loaded.

”The last at-bat, that’s one of my best at-bats of the year,”

Escobar said. ”I was just trying to put ball in play, ground ball,

fly ball, anywhere. I was really concentrating. I was trying to put

the ball in play and got the base hit.”

Rookie Danny Salazar (1-3), who had allowed just one run in 13

2-3 innings in his first three September starts, took the loss,

giving up four runs and six hits in six innings.

The Royals jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first with Perez’s

two-out double, scoring Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler. Perez went to

third on the throw home and scored on a Salazar wild pitch.

The Indians scored a pair of runs in the third. Yan Gomes came

home after center fielder Dyson had trouble picking up Michael

Brantley’s double. Brantley wound up scoring on Bourn’s sacrifice

fly.

The Royals used a double steal in the fifth for their fourth

run. Escobar avoided the tag of catcher Gomes to steal home, while

Alex Gordon, who was initially caught in a rundown, stole second.

Escobar became the first Royal to steal home since Jeff Francoeur

on Aug. 11, 2012, at Baltimore.

”I was kind of looking to take him back to third base and

peaked (at the other runner) and when I did that he kind of dropped

and went under my tag,” Gomes said.

Notes: The Royals recalled LHP Chris Dwyer, who allowed one

single and struck out eight in seven scoreless innings for Omaha in

the Triple-A 2-1 championship victory over Durham on Tuesday, and

IF Irving Falu, who hit .256 in 135 games with the Storm Chasers.

Falu was with Kansas City for one day, Aug. 11, but was optioned

back to Omaha the next day without playing. … Indians RHP Justin

Masterson, a 14-game winner who is out with an oblique strain,

threw 120 feet in long toss and made 20 to 25 pitches off flat

ground. … The Indians won the season series from the Royals for

the ninth time in 10 years.