Escobar, Moustakas power Royals, 5-2
Cleveland ? The Kansas City Royals are feeling a little better after a couple successful days in Cleveland.
Alcides Escobar hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the sixth, Mike Moustakas homered and the Royals beat the Cleveland Indians, 5-2, on Saturday.
Kansas City, an AL-worst 20-27 coming into the day, has won two straight this weekend against the Indians.
Jason Vargas (6-3) allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings. Kelvin Herrera worked the ninth for his second save in two days and No. 11 on the season.
“These are the kind of games we need to play,” Vargas said. “Momentum builders like that can really get you going.”
While Kansas City is feeling good again, Cleveland manager Terry Francona admitted his team is frustrated. The Indians have lost four of five since sweeping three games from Houston, which has the best record in the majors.
“We need to go out and play baseball every day like we love the game and the game is the most important (thing),” Francona said. “I know we need to do a better job of that.”
Cleveland right-hander Danny Salazar (3-5) allowed four runs, three earned, in 5 1/3 innings.
Royals manager Ned Yost and first baseman Eric Hosmer were ejected by plate umpire Bill Welke in the first inning. They were thrown out for arguing after it was ruled that Hosmer failed to check his swing and struck out with the bases loaded and no outs.
Kansas City loaded the bases with one out in the sixth. Alex Gordon hit a tying RBI single off Boone Logan, which brought Nick Goody out of Cleveland’s bullpen.
Escobar sent a line drive to the left side of the infield, but shortstop Francisco Lindor couldn’t make a leaping grab. The ball rolled into left-center field, scoring two runs.
Moustakas, who went 3 for 4 with a walk, added a leadoff drive in the ninth for his 13th of the season.
Salvador Perez put Kansas City ahead with a sacrifice fly in the first, but Lindor’s one-out homer tied the game in the bottom half. Jason Kipnis put Cleveland in front with an RBI single in the third.
Kipnis narrowly missed a grand slam in the fourth when his drive to the right-field seats was ruled foul. The call was upheld after a crew chief review.
Kansas City loaded the bases on an error, a hit and a walk to start the game. Hosmer tried to check his swing on a 1-2 pitch, but third base umpire David Rackley ruled he went around.
Hosmer was ejected after shouting and waving his hand at Rackley. Yost was tossed soon after he came on the field.
“He missed a couple of calls last night at home plate,” Hosmer said. “He goes from missing a ton of pitches last night to missing the first call his way today. To me, that’s unacceptable.”
Voice of reason
Yost was ejected for the 40th time in his managerial career, but might have learned a valuable lesson.
“About 10 minutes after I got kicked out, my phone rang,” he said. “It was my 3-year-old grandson Jordan, asking, ‘Granddaddy, did you get thrown out of the game?’ I told him I did. He asked me if I had been put in timeout. I guess I kind of was put into timeout, being in here.”
With Corey Kluber likely returning to the rotation Thursday against Oakland, Salazar could be headed to a relief role. He walked a season-high five Saturday.
“We’ll put our heads together and see what’s the next best step for him,” Francona said. “I think he’s probably searching a little bit too.”
Royals: LHP Brian Flynn (broken ribs) began a minor league rehab assignment at Triple-A Omaha.
Indians: Kluber (strained lower back) was placed on the 10-day DL on May 3.
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy held the Indians to one run in 6 2/3 innings, but got the loss at Kauffman Stadium on May 7.
Indians: RHP Josh Tomlin hasn’t won since beating the Royals on May 6 when he allowed one run in seven innings.