Kansas City, Mo Gregg Zaun hit a solo homer with two outs in the eighth inning Friday night, giving the Kansas City Royals a 3-2 rain-delayed win over Cleveland.
Zaun's seventh home run came off Steve Karsay (5-9), and it gave Kansas City the win in a game delayed 1 hour, 50 minutes by rain in the third inning.
The Indians began the day tied with Oakland in the AL wild card race and the five-time AL Central division champions could be eliminated from the division race today.
Ricky Bottalico (8-6), Kansas City's fourth pitcher, earned the win with two innings of relief.
The Indians went up 2-0 in the second against starter Brian Meadows, when Sandy Alomar hit an RBI double and scored on a single by Omar Vizquel.
Kansas City cut it to 2-1 in the second, on an RBI single by Carlos Febles. Febles was thrown out trying to score on Johnny Damon's double. The Royals tied it at 2 in the fourth on Mark Quinn's RBI single.
Both teams missed chances to score in the middle innings, when a second round of showers threatened to force a postponement.
Cleveland reliever Chris Nichting was lifted with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth, after hitting Joe Randa, walking Quinn and then hitting Zaun with another pitch. Steve Reed defused the threat when he got Febles to hit into a force play.
The Indians appeared to have scored the go-ahead run in the seventh, when Manny Ramirez doubled to left center with one out and Roberto Alomar on first. But Ramirez's hit off Dan Murray bounced over the wall, forcing Alomar to stay on third, and Paul Spoljaric came on to record two quick outs.
Notes: Ramirez has reached base safely in 48 straight games, the longest such streak in the AL this year. ... Quinn threw Ramirez out at second in the third inning, his eighth outfield assist of the year. That leads AL rookies. ... Meadows, who didn't return after the rain delay, was denied a chance to win a fifth straight start in September. ... Cleveland's Sandy Alomar passed Luke Sewell into third place in the number of games caught for the Indians. Alomar started his 944th game as Cleveland's catcher.