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Royals 6, Indians 2

The SportsXchange

CLEVELAND -- Alex Gordon homered on the first pitch of the game and James Shields pitched eight strong innings as the Kansas City Royals never trailed in a 6-2 win over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.

Shields (11-9) held Cleveland to two runs and four hits in eight innings, striking out seven and walking one.

The surging Royals, who started the day three games out of the second wild-card spot in the American League, won two of the three games in the series and have won 13 of their last 18 games since Aug. 25.

The Indians, who are also in the wild-card hunt, have lost three of their last four games and went 5-4 on a homestand that ended Wednesday.

The Royals got off to a great start when Gordon belted the first pitch of the game from Cleveland starter Scott Kazmir into the seats in right field. It was Gordon's team-leading 19th home run. Gordon, as a leadoff hitter, leads the Royals in home runs and RBIs (79).

Emilio Bonifacio followed Gordon's home run with a triple to right field. Bonifacio scored on Kansas City's third consecutive hit to start the game, a single by Eric Hosmer, giving the Royals a 2-0 lead.

Kazmir retired the next two batters, but Jason Maxwell singled, moving Hosmer to second, and Hosmer scored on a single by Lorenzo Cain to make it 3-0.

The Indians answered when Michael Bourn led off the Cleveland first with a single and Shields hit Mike Aviles with a pitch to put runners at first and second with no outs. Shields retired the next two batters, but Michael Brantley lined a single to center, scoring Bourn and Aviles to cut the Kansas City lead to 3-2.

Kazmir (8-8) survived the first inning and held the Royals scoreless in the next three innings. But after giving up singles to the first two batters in the fifth, Kazmir was removed from the game. In four innings, he gave up four runs and nine hits with four strikeouts and no walks.

The Royals made it 4-2 when Bonifacio scored on a double-play grounder by Billy Butler later in the fifth inning.

Kansas City stretched its advantage to 5-2 in the seventh when Gordon walked, went to third on a single by Bonifacio and scored on a throwing error by pitcher Rich Hill on a pickoff attempt at first.

An RBI single by Mike Moustakas in the eighth made it 6-2.

NOTES: Gordon's home run leading off the first inning was his 13th career leadoff home run, the most in Royals history. ... The Royals had three more stolen bases to boost their season total to 139, the most in the majors by far. ... Indians SS Asdrubal Cabrera was given a day off. Cabrera, mired in a 3-for-30 slump, is hitting .107 in September. ... The Indians, who are 11-2 against the White Sox this season, begin a four-game series in Chicago on Thursday.
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