|Cleveland (69-66) «||2||0||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||5||9||1|
|Kansas City (57-82)||0||0||0||0||1||1||2||0||0||4||7||0|
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- With just under four weeks remaining, the Cleveland Indians continue to hang around in the AL Central.
Masterson (11-8) allowed seven hits and four runs as the Indians (69-66) equaled last year's win total and remained 5½ games behind first-place Detroit in the division. The longer Cleveland stays close to the Tigers, the more exciting Masterson figures it's going to be in September.
|More on Indians at Royals|
"Why not? You're here, you're playing. There's a lot of good things going on right now," he said. "It's going to be fun as we continue on, especially with as many games as we have left in the division."
The Indians jumped to a 5-0 lead, but had to hang on after Masterson departed with Cleveland up by one. Vinnie Pestano came on after Kansas City had scored in three consecutive innings and stopped the Royals cold with a perfect eighth. Closer Chris Perez got Kansas City in order in the ninth for his 31st save.
"Masterson threw the ball well, but those guys have a very good lineup," Indians manager Manny Acta said of the Royals. You can't fall asleep or they will put some runs up on you right away. Our bullpen was clutch again."
"Just a tremendous inning," Acta said "When you have a one-run lead and you have to go through Butler, [Eric] Hosmer and Francoeur, that's a pivotal inning."
Pestano has allowed just one run over his last 16 outings. The right-hander knew he needed to be sharp to hold off the heart of the Kansas City order.
"You are dog-paddling in the water, hoping to keep your head up," Pestano said.
Royals starter Bruce Chen (10-6) gave up five runs on eight hits in six innings. When Masterson and Chen matched up in Cleveland last Sunday, it was Chen who had the upper hand in a 2-1 Kansas City victory.
Not this time.
Cleveland struck again in the third against Chen, who had gone 5-1 in six August starts. A leadoff single by Kosuke Fukudome and Cabrera's two-run homer that barely eluded the outstretched glove of a leaping Alex Gordon in left staked Masterson to a 4-0 lead.
Cabrera fouled a pitch off his left knee early in his at-bat and hobbled out of the batter's box. He homered shortly after that but left the game favoring his knee in the bottom half when he had trouble moving laterally in the field on a grounder.
Donald homered in the fourth before the Royals made a bid to climb out of a five-run hole. Kansas City used a run-scoring single by Alcides Escobar in the fifth and a sacrifice fly by Hosmer in the sixth to close to 5-2.
The Royals applied more pressure in the seventh when Alex Gordon launched a two-run homer to straightaway center.
"You can't give Masterson a five-run lead," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "When Masterson gets you through seven, they have Pestano and Perez to come in [and] it's a tall order."
|Asdrubal Cabrera walks it off after fouling a pitch off his left knee, just before homering for the Indians. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
|Ezequiel Carrera, CF||5||0||1||0||0||0||1||.257|
|Kosuke Fukudome, RF||5||2||3||0||0||0||1||.279|
|Asdrubal Cabrera, SS||2||1||1||2||0||0||1||.278|
|Cord Phelps, 2B||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||.150|
|Carlos Santana, 1B||3||1||1||1||0||0||0||.240|
|Jim Thome, DH||4||0||1||1||0||1||1||.239|
|Shelley Duncan, LF||2||0||0||0||1||1||1||.253|
|Jerad Head, LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.063|
|Jason Donald, 2B-SS||4||1||2||1||0||1||2||.296|
|Jack Hannahan, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.243|
|Lou Marson, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.221|
|2B - Carlos Santana (28, Chen), Jason Donald (5, Chen)|
|HR - Asdrubal Cabrera (22, Chen), Jason Donald (1, Chen)|
|RBI - Asdrubal Cabrera 2 (80), Carlos Santana (67), Jim Thome (42), Jason Donald (4)|
|2-OUT RBI - Carlos Santana (23), Jim Thome (24)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Santana-Donald|
|E - Justin Masterson (2, Throwing)|
|Justin Masterson (W,11-8)||7||7||4||4||1||4||1||2.92|
|Vinnie Pestano (H,20)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||2.35|
|Chris Perez (S,31)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2.68|
|HBP - Perez (by Justin Masterson)|
|WP - Justin Masterson (5)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Justin Masterson 87-54, Vinnie Pestano 15-11, Chris Perez 12-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Masterson 11-5|
|Batters Faced - Justin Masterson 29, Vinnie Pestano 3, Chris Perez 3|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Alex Gordon, LF||4||1||1||2||0||0||2||.304|
|Melky Cabrera, CF||4||1||1||0||0||0||1||.302|
|Billy Butler, DH||3||0||1||0||1||2||0||.296|
|Eric Hosmer, 1B||3||0||0||1||0||1||1||.281|
|Jeff Francoeur, RF||4||0||1||0||0||2||1||.280|
|Mike Moustakas, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.232|
|Johnny Giavotella, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.245|
|Salvador Perez, C||3||2||1||0||0||0||0||.282|
|Alcides Escobar, SS||2||0||2||1||0||0||0||.247|
|Chris Getz, SS||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.256|
|2B - Melky Cabrera (39, Masterson), Jeff Francoeur (43, Masterson)|
|HR - Alex Gordon (20, Masterson)|
|SF - Eric Hosmer (4)|
|SH - Alcides Escobar (17)|
|RBI - Alex Gordon 2 (74), Eric Hosmer (61), Alcides Escobar (40)|
|2-OUT RBI - Alex Gordon 2 (30), Alcides Escobar (16)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Bruce Chen (L,10-6)||6||8||5||5||1||3||2||4.11|
|HBP - Santana (by Bruce Chen)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Bruce Chen 115-73, Everett Teaford 37-26|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bruce Chen 12-3, Everett Teaford 6-1|
|Batters Faced - Bruce Chen 28, Everett Teaford 10|
|Attendance - 27251|
|Game Time - 2:26|
|Temperature - 91|
|Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Andy Fletcher|