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Indians Vs. Royals Final: Tribe Holds Off Scrappy Kansas City 5-4

  • Recap via SB Nation and Sports Network *

Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run homer and Jason Donald added a solo shot, as the Cleveland Indians downed the Kansas City Royals, 5-4, in the opener of a three-game series.

Justin Masterson (11-8) allowed four runs over seven innings to earn the win and Chris Perez tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to secure his 31st save of the season.

"His stuff was better than it was the last time we faced him," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Masterson.

Carlos Santana added an RBI double for the Indians, who moved into sole possession of second place in the AL Central. They remain 5 1/2 games behind the division-leading Tigers, who defeated the White Sox on Friday.

Bruce Chen (10-6) lasted six innings, surrendering five runs on eight hits to halt his win streak at five games.

Alex Gordon hit a two-run homer for the Royals, losers in three of their last four.

In the opening frame, Kosuke Fukudome reached with a single and scored on Santana's two-out double to right-center. Jim Thome's subsequent base hit made it a 2-0 game.

Fukudome again got the Indians started in the third, preceding Cabrera's homer to left with a leadoff single. Prior to the home run -- his 22nd of the season -- Cabrera fouled a ball off of his left kneecap. He would leave the game a half-inning later.

Donald put Cleveland on top, 5-0, with a leadoff shot in the fourth, but the Royals finally got to Masterson in the fifth, as Salvador Perez singled with two down, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on Alcides Escobar's single.

An inning later, Melky Cabrera led off with a double, moved to third on Billy Butler's base hit and scored on Eric Hosmer's sac fly.

Masterson hit Perez with one down in the seventh. Escobar advanced the runner with a sac bunt, but was removed from the game when he landed awkwardly on first base. Gordon followed with a homer to center to make it a 5-4 game.

"It was good," Masterson said of his outing. "We were winning and I still felt fine, but I was a little erratic."

The Royals would get no closer, however, as Vinnie Pestano faced the minimum in the eighth before handing the ball to Perez.

"When Masterson gets you through seven, they have Pestano and Perez to come, it's a tall order," said Yost.

Asdrubal Cabrera was initially diagnosed with a left knee contusion...Prior to the game, the Indians recalled pitcher Josh Judy from Columbus...Escobar is listed as day-to-day with a left ankle sprain...Mike Moustakas saw his 15-game hit streak, which matched a Royals rookie record, come to an end.

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