Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Indians overcome errors in 4-3 win

The SportsXchange

CLEVELAND -- It's not often that a team can make three errors and win, but the Cleveland Indians did it Monday night, thanks to some timely hitting, solid starting pitching and a bullish bullpen.

Second baseman Jason Kipnis and left fielder Michael Brantley both belted two-run homers and right-hander Zach McAllister pitched into the seventh inning to get the win as Cleveland beat the Kansas City Royals 4-3 on Monday night at Progressive Field.

McAllister made one of Cleveland's three errors, but he also pitched six innings and gave up three runs (two earned) and six hits, with two strikeouts and one walk as he improved his record to 3-0.

"I just tried to execute my pitches and get three outs in the fewest pitches I could," he said.

Indians manager Terry Francona said, "Zach was very good. His fastball was 92-93, at the knees. That's a good pitch."

Trailing 3-2, the Indians scored twice in the sixth inning off Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, who was the Indians' top draft pick in the June 2002 draft. First baseman Nick Swisher belted his second double in as many at-bats, knocking a ball off the left-field wall leading off the inning.

Kipnis then hit his third home run of the season, a two-run shot in the seats in right-center field, giving the Indians a 4-3 lead.

"He made three mistakes," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said of Guthrie. "He hung a changeup to Brantley. He hung a curveball to Swisher and a slider to Kipnis. The two homers are what did the damage. Outside of that, he threw the ball well."

McAllister was relieved by left-hander Marc Rzepczynski after McAllister walked the leadoff hitter in the seventh.

Rzepczynski pitched a scoreless seventh and right-hander Cody Allen did the same in the eighth. Right-hander John Axford retired the side in order in the ninth to pick up his American League-leading seventh save.

"Pitching a clean inning like that is great, especially in a one-run game," Francona said.

Axford lost the closer's job with Milwaukee last year, leading to his being traded at midseason to St. Louis, where he worked in a setup role. Cleveland signed him to a one-year contract as a free agent during the winter.

"In the past, I've always struggled in April, so I really concentrated on getting off to a good start this year," said Axford, who has converted seven of eight save opportunities and has a 3.12 ERA in 10 appearances.

Guthrie pitched 6 1/3 innings and was charged with four runs and 10 hits with three strikeouts and no walks as his record fell to 2-1.

McAllister and Guthrie matched zeroes through the first three innings before Cleveland broke through to take a 2-0 lead in the fourth.

Kipnis started the rally with a leadoff double down the right-field line. Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall flied out, but Brantley belted a 2-1 pitch over the wall in right field for his fourth home run of the season and second in two days.

"Brantley did a nice job and drove it," Guthrie said. "The slider was a bad pitch to Kipnis. The home runs were the difference."

It was a short-lived lead for Cleveland as the Royals needed just three batters in the top of the fifth to tie it. Third baseman Mike Moustakas and shortstop Alcides Escobar hit back-to-back doubles, and a throwing error by McAllister on a sacrifice bunt by center fielder Jarrod Dyson allowed Escobar to score to make it 2-2.

Second baseman Omar Infante followed with an RBI single to give the Royals a 3-2 lead.

In addition to McAllister's error, Chisenhall made two errors at third base. The Indians have 19 errors this year, the second highest total in the league.

"We're a better defensive team than what we've shown so far, but we have had some missteps, that's for sure," Francona said.

NOTES: Royals first-base coach Rusty Kuntz suffered a broken left arm when hit by a line drive off the bat of Salvador Perez during batting practice. Kuntz is scheduled to have surgery on Wednesday. ... Before the game, Kansas City activated OF Jarrod Dyson from the bereavement list. To make room on the roster for Dyson, the Royals optioned LHP Justin Marks to Triple-A Omaha. ... After batting sixth in the last four games, Royals DH Billy Butler moved back to the cleanup spot on Monday night. ... Indians DH Jason Giambi was activated off the disabled list before the game. Giambi had been on the DL since opening day with a fractured rib, suffered when he was hit by a pitch in a spring training game on March 7. To make room for Giambi, the Indians optioned RHP Blake Wood to Triple-A Columbus.
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments (2)