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Royals beat Indians, end May on high note

May 31, 2012

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— The Kansas City Royals are headed home on a high note.

Wednesday’s 6-3 win over the Cleveland Indians was significant on several fronts for the Royals. The victory gave Kansas City a 5-4 road trip in which it won four of its last six games. The Royals, who are off Thursday, finished May with a 15-13 record, their first winning mark in the month since 2000.

Kansas City, which took two of three in both Baltimore and Cleveland after losing two of three in New York to open the trip, is 16-11 on the road. The Royals are 18-14 since losing 12 straight from April 11-24.

“It’s time to forget about the streak,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. “We’ve played really good baseball from that point on and we’re going to continue to get better.”

“We played three good teams,” said left fielder Alex Gordon, who had two hits and drove in a run. “Baltimore and Cleveland are at the top of their divisions. We’re starting to play a little better. This road trip is definitely a positive.”

Bruce Chen overcame a rocky second inning and the Royals scored their first five runs with two outs. Chen (4-5) held Cleveland scoreless after giving up three runs in the second. Gordon, Johnny Giavotella, Mike Moustakas, Jeff Francoeur and Brayan Pena each had run-scoring hits to help Kansas City rally from a 3-0 deficit.

Chen worked the first five innings before relievers Tim Collins, Aaron Crow, Jose Mijares and Jonathan Broxton pitched scoreless ball over the final four innings. Broxton worked a shaky ninth for his 11th save.

Broxton retired the first batter, but Shin-Soo Choo walked and Jason Kipnis singled. Asdrubal Cabrera walked to load the bases, but Jose Lopez hit into a game-ending double play.

Cleveland, which has lost five of six, fell to 4-11 against left-handed starters.

Chen, who improved to 6-3 against Cleveland, chuckled when asked if he had to grind out the victory.

“It was a battle,” he said. “The bullpen did a great job. Once we got the lead, I couldn’t let my teammates down. It was a total team win.”

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