First the Indians beat the Royals 4-3, getting the final three
outs in the bottom of the 10th inning to preserve a win from a game
suspended Aug. 31 in Kansas City.
In the regularly scheduled game, the Royals, behind left-hander
Danny Duffy, shut out the Indians 2-0. The split allowed Kansas City
to pull within one game of the Detroit Tigers for first place in the
The Royals also saw their lead for the second AL wild-card spot
increase to two games when the Seattle Mariners lost. Kansas City
sits one game behind the Oakland A's for the top wild-card berth.
"It was a good day for us," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said.
The split was far more damaging for the Indians since another day
passed without them gaining any ground in the wild-card race. They
remain 3 1/2 games out of the second wild-card spot -- but with only
five games to play.
"It's not often that you don't score but come away with a split,"
Indians manager Terry Francona said.
"We've got to win every game the rest of the way," Cleveland second
baseman Mike Aviles said. "We can't worry about anyone else."
Duffy pitched six scoreless innings, combining with three relievers
on a seven-hitter. Duffy (9-11) gave up six hits and two walks while
striking out. It was his first start since Sept. 6, as a sore
shoulder caused him to miss two turns in the rotation.
Right-hander Greg Holland pitched the ninth inning to pick up his
Duffy's shoulder looked fine Monday night. After pitching out of a
bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the first inning, he didn't allow a
baserunner past first base.
Duffy gave up a walk and two singles to the first three batters he
faced as the Indians loaded the bases with no outs. However, the
lefty retired designated hitter Carlos Santana on an infield popup,
then struck out catcher Yan Gomes and got Aviles on a flyout to end
"When you've got the bases loaded and Carlos (Santana) up there, you
feel pretty good," Francona said. "But (Duffy) reached back for a
Duffy said he tried to keep his composure.
"I thought about executing the next pitch," he said. "That's the
thing I've learned since I've been in the big leagues, don't let the
next pitch get to you. I tried to bear down and execute."
Yost was impressed by 25-year-old's poise.
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"He was a little rusty with his command, but his stuff was
phenomenal," Yost said. "He had the bases loaded with nobody out and
pitched through it and really never got in too much of a jam after
The Indians next threat came in the seventh inning, when center
fielder Michael Bourn doubled with two outs off Brandon Finnegan.
The left-handed reliever struck out shortstop Jose Ramirez to end
Cleveland right-hander Carlos Carrasco (8-6) pitched 7 1/3 innings,
giving up two runs on seven hits with nine strikeouts and one walk.
Carrasco, who pitched a two-hit shutout in his previous start,
allowed a run on three hits in the first inning. With one out,
Royals right fielder Nori Aoki singled and stole second. With two
outs, first baseman Eric Hosmer singled to right, scoring Aoki.
The Royals stretched the lead to 2-0 in the fifth. Second baseman
Omar Infante led off with a double into the left-field corner.
Infante went to third on a groundout by third baseman Mike
Moustakas, and he scored on an infield single by shortstop Alicides
Duffy and the bullpen took it from there to keep the Royals squarely
in the playoff hunt.
"The teams we needed to lose tonight, lost," Hosmer said. "We gained
some ground, especially playing these guys. They're a tough team."
NOTES: Indians RHP Corey Kluber, who had back-to-back 14-strikeout
games last week, was named the American League Player of the Week,
the second time he won the award this year. ... After breaking the
club record for strikeouts last year, Indians pitchers did it again
this year. They have 1,402 K's after fanning 11 Monday. ... Royals
SS Alcides Escobar has 33 doubles, two shy of Kurt Stillwell's club
record for a shortstop, set in 1990.
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