CLEVELAND (AP) — Francisco Lindor, making a late run for AL Rookie of the Year, was 3 for 4 with a home run and four RBIs to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 5-1 win over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night.
Danny Salazar (13-8) took a three-hit shutout into the seventh before Mike Moustakas started the inning with a home run. The right-hander allowed one run and struck out six in seven innings.
Lindor, who matched his career high in hits and RBIs, had a solo homer in the first for his 100th hit since being called up from the minors on June 14. He added a two-run single in the second and an RBI single in the fourth.
Lindor also began the fifth with an outstanding play at shortstop. He dove to his left to come up with Alex Rios’ ground ball and made a one-hop throw to first from his knees for the out.
The Indians (72-72) got back to .500 and remained in contention for the second wild-card spot in the AL.
Danny Duffy (7-8) allowed four runs in 2 1/3 innings for Kansas City, which has dropped nine of 12.
Lindor drove a 1-0 pitch several rows deep in the left-field bleachers in the first. Following Jason Kipnis’ RBI single in the second, the switch-hitter punched a hit through the right side for a 4-0 lead.
Lindor’s first two hits came from the right side against the left-handed Duffy. His fourth-inning single was off right-hander Jeremy Guthrie.
Lindor, 21, was Cleveland’s No. 1 draft pick in 2011, the eighth overall. He began the season at Triple-A Columbus.
Cleveland entered play five games behind Houston, but also trailed Minnesota and Los Angeles in the wild-card race.
Kansas City was a season-high 31 games over .500 (82-51) on Sept. 3 before its recent rough stretch. The Royals were still 10 games ahead of Minnesota in the AL Central.
Royals: OF Lorenzo Cain was in the lineup after being removed in the ninth inning Tuesday. He was hit on the leg by a pitch earlier in the game and twisted his ankle Monday.
Royals: RHP Yordano Ventura has won three of his last four road starts, raising his season mark in away games to 4-3 with a 5.15 ERA.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber returns to the mound for the first time since Aug. 29. He’s 1-3 in four starts this season against the Royals.