CLEVELAND -- The starters didn't stick around long, so in a game that was decided by the bullpens, Cleveland's relievers out-pitched Kansas City's as the Indians beat the Royals 6-4 Sunday. The win completes a three-game series sweep by the Indians, who go into the All-Star break riding a four-game winning streak. The Royals go into the break having lost five in a row.
Neither starting pitcher made it past the fifth inning and neither was involved in the decision. Cleveland starter Ubaldo Jimenez labored through four innings, giving up four runs on eight hits while Kansas City starter James Shields pitched five innings, but needed 113 pitches to do so. Shields gave up three runs on seven hits.
The Indians scored first on a sacrifice fly by Jason Kipnis in the first inning. The Royals took a 2-1 lead in the second, which began with a one-out infield single by Lorenzo Cain. David Lough singled Cain to second, and when Johnny Giavotella walked the Royals had the bases loaded with one out.
Cain scored on a sacrifice fly by Alcides Escobar and Lough scored on a two-out single by Eric Hosmer, giving Kansas City a 2-1 lead.
The Indians countered with a two-run third inning, and a 3-2 lead. Kipnis walked with one out, went to second on a groundout and scored on a single by Michael Brantley, who with two outs and runners in scoring position is hitting .385. Brantley then scored on a double by Carlos Santana to give the lead back to Cleveland.
But for the second time in the four innings he pitched, Jimenez gave up runs in the inning immediately after his teammates scored runs. Jimenez walked the first batter of the fourth inning then gave up a bunt single to the second batter in what became a two-run rally that gave the Royals a 4-3 lead.
Cleveland took the lead for good in the sixth inning with a three-run outburst against the Royals' bullpen. Lonnie Chisenhall led off the inning with a walk and Drew Stubbs singled.
Michael Bourn's sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third and they both scored on a double to center field by Asdrubal Cabrera off reliever Tim Collins (2-5), giving Cleveland a 5-4 lead.
Everett Teaford relieved Collins, and Kipnis greeted Teaford with a single, driving in Cabrera to give the Indians a 6-4 lead.
Rich Hill (1-1), the third of six Cleveland pitchers, got the win. Chris Perez, the fifth of five Indians relievers, picked up his 13th save.
Cabrera and Santana each had three hits to lead a 13-hit Indians attack.
Notes: Prior to Sunday's game the Royals activated pitcher Wade Davis off the Paternity List. ... To make room on the roster for Davis, pitcher J.C. Gutierrez was designated for assignment. In 25 relief appearances Gutierrez was 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA. ... The Indians have activated pitcher Blake Wood off the 60-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Columbus. Wood had been on the DL all year as he completed his rehab from Tommy John surgery last year. . . C Omir Santos was outrighted off the Indians' 40-man major league roster to the Columbus roster.