Second baseman Omar Infante took advantage of his first start in 11 days to slam a single, double. and a home run for a career-high seven RBI’s in the KC Royals 8-4 win over the Indians in Cleveland Thursday night.
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The KC Royals certainly needed this victory. They are now 6-10 in September and remain two games ahead of the Blue Jays for the American League top seed after Toronto beat Atlanta 5-0. However, the Kansas City Royals did manage to reduce their magic number to six, after the Twins lost 10-7 to the Angels.
Omar Infante got the game off to a good start with a three-run home run in the second inning, scoring Salvador Perez and Alex Rios.
However, the Kansas City Royals seemed bound and determined to give back their good fortune, allowing Cleveland base runners to reach in each of the first three innings on errors.
The KC Royals sloppy fielding cost them an unearned run in the bottom of the second inning when starter Yordano Ventura allowed a two-out single to Jason Kipnis with runners on first and third. Left fielder Ben Zobrist made a poor throw home that drifted up the third base line that forced catcher Salvador Perez to make a sweeping tag.
The ball dribbled past Perez, except Yordano Ventura failed to back up the play. Instead, Ventura watched from the mound as Giovanny Urshela alertly scored to cut the KC lead to 3-2.
The KC Royals struck back in the top of the fifth inning. Eric Hosmer plated Mike Moustakas with a nice opposite field double. Then Omar Infante followed with another double to score Hosmer and Kendrys Morales to give the Kansas City Royals a commanding 6-2 lead.
The Indians came back to score a run in the bottom of the inning on a fielder’s choice, but Yordano Ventura got a ground out to escape a bases-loaded jam that kept the KC Royals in front 6-3. Finishing the fifth inning allowed Ventura to earn his 12th win (12-8).
Omar Infante struck again in the seventh inning, coming through with a two-run single with runners on second and third to put the Kansas City Royals up 8-3.
The KC Royals held this lead until Mike Moustakas’ made a throwing error, and Franklin Morales surrendered two singles, to load the bases with no outs in the ninth inning. However, Greg Holland earned his 32nd save by getting a sacrifice fly from center fielder Abraham Almonte, and inducing a double-play ground ball from catcher Yan Gomes.
It wasn’t exactly a pretty win for the KC Royals, with four errors on the night. But, they’ll take it. Let’s hope the Kansas City Royals can find a way out of their September swoon in time to hold off the Blue Jays for home field advantage throughout the playoffs.