ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Alex Gordon had two hits and stretched his hitting streak to 13 games and left-hander Bruce Chen went seven strong innings, leading the Kansas City Royals past the Cleveland Indians 5-4 on a cold and blustery Tuesday night.
Chen (3-0) beat the Indians for the fourth straight time. He stretched his personal winning streak, dating to last season, to seven games over 11 starts.
Jeanmar Gomez (0-1), making his first major league start after being called up from Triple-A Columbus earlier in the day, took the loss on a night when the wind chill hovered near 30 degrees.
Joakim Soria pitched a shaky ninth for his fifth save in six opportunities. After the Indians loaded the bases with two outs on a single, third baseman Wilson Betemit’s throwing error and a hit batsman, Shin-Soo Choo drew a walk that forced in a run.
Soria then threw three straight called strikes to Carlos Santana to end it.
Chen cruised into the seventh with a two-hitter and a 5-0 lead, and hadn’t allowed an earned run in 20 innings. But with one out, Orlando Cabrera and Austin Kearns singled and Lou Marson hit a two-run double.
With two out, Michael Brantley singled into shallow left field and Marson, trying to score from second, was out at the plate on a strong throw from Gordon.
Chen went seven innings and allowed two runs on six hits, with three walks and five strikeouts.
Gordon singled in the first and had an RBI double in the fifth. Since going 0 for 5 on opening day, he’s 26 for 67 (.388).
Right behind Gordon is third baseman Betemit, who grounded a single up the middle leading off the fourth inning and stretched his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games.
Alcides Escobar singled in the third and came home on a triple by Chris Getz, who scored on Melky Cabrera’s grounder. Escobar’s RBI single made it 3-0 off Gomez in the fourth, then back-to-back doubles by Cabrera and Gordon in the fifth were followed by Jeff Francoeur’s RBI single.
Gomez went 4 1-3 innings and gave up five runs on nine hits, with two walks and three strikeouts.
Santana had an RBI single off Blake Wood in the eighth. Brantley had three hits for the Indians.
NOTES: Grady Sizemore, 5 for 9 with two doubles, two RBIs and a home run in two games since returning from knee surgery, got the night off until pinch-hitting with one out in the ninth. Early in season, Indians manager Manny Acta plans to let him play three or four games every five days or so. He was retired in the ninth on an outstanding running catch by Gordon in left. ... The loss kept the first-place Indians from going to 13-4 for the first time since 1988. ... The Royals and Indians came into the game ranked 1-2 in the AL in hitting.