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Indians Vs. Royals Final: Tribe Refuses To Fold, Wins Another Thriller 8-7

Man, where to start about this game tonight at Progressive Field.

Jim Thome hit homer #602 for his career and his first for the Tribe since 2002, the Indians rallied not once, not twice, but three times, Asdrubal Cabrera broke out of a slump in a big way capped with a 3-run bomb in the bottom of the eighth, and Chris Perez got his 29th save as Cleveland won a thriller over the Kansas City Royals, 8-7.

And you know what? Maybe Chris Perez should have got two saves instead of one tonight.

This game started rather mildly compared to how it ended, when Jack Hannahan drove in a run with a single in the second to give the Tribe a 1-0 lead.

Kansas City scored three in the fourth off of Fausto Carmona to grab a 3-1 advantage, but Hannahan tripled in the bottom half to drive in two more runs and knot the game at 3-3.

The Royals once again moved ahead with a run in the fifth, but Thome celebrated his birthday with a drive to the bleachers in left in the bottom of the sixth, and once again we were tied, this time at 4-4.

But Kansas City scored three in the seventh, with Carmona putting one aboard, an error on Carlos Santana putting two runners on, and then Alex Gordon belted a 3-run blast to right field and the Tribe was looking at a daunting 7-4 deficit.

The bottom of the seventh was the ultimate good news/bad news inning, when the Indians scored a run on back-to-back doubles from Kosuke Fukudome and Cabrera to start the inning. Ezequiel Carrera then reached on an infield hit and the tying runs were aboard, still with nobody out. But Santana and Thome fanned and Shelley Duncan popped out to end the threat, and it felt like the season — right there — might have slipped away.

When Hannahan hit into a double play with a runner on in the eighth to leave the bases empty, it looked even more grim. But then….

Lonnie Chisenhall singled as a pinch-hitter (after narrowly missing a home run on a long foul ball). Fukudome walked, and that was when Cabrera hit a no-doubter to right for his 21st long-ball of the season, and the Indians, incredibly, led 8-7.

Then Chris Perez worked a little magic of his own in the ninth.

Salvador Perez singled to center leading off, and when the ball got past Carrera for an error, Perez advanced to second. But then Alcides Escobar laid down a bunt and Chris never hesitated, firing a strike to third base to cut down Salvador Perez, and there was one out. Escobar stole second, but the Tribe’s closer struck out Gordon and Melky Cabrera to end this incredible game.

Joe Smith gets the win to move to 3-3, while Coleman falls to 1-4.

Cleveland remains 6.5 games behind the Tigers, who won again in Minnesota in a game in which Justin Verlander reached 20 wins for the season.

This series will end on Sunday afternoon with Justin Masterson on the hill for the Tribe. If it could top the first two games of this series, a lot of fans will be losing their voices.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.