CLEVELAND — Indians interim manager Sandy Alomar Jr. has quickly brought the excitement back to Progressive Field.
Unfortunately for the Tribe, pitcher Scott Maine temporarily vanquished it Saturday night.
Second baseman Tony Abreu lined a two-out, RBI single off Maine in the top of the 14th inning, scoring Mike Moustakas and giving the Kansas City Royals a 7-6 victory over Cleveland.
Moustakas reached base when Maine (2-3) issued a leadoff walk, then moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Abreu promptly made the veteran left-hander pay by dropping a single just in front of Indians center fielder Michael Brantley.
In the bottom of the 14th, the Tribe loaded the bases off Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera, but failed to score the equalizer. Carlos Santana and Lonnie Chisenhall each hit weak fly balls to the outfield for the first two outs, while Casey Kotchman’s meek grounder to first ended the four-hour and 52-minute game.
Kansas City right-hander Vin Mazzaro (4-3) earned the victory with two scoreless innings, while Herrera notched his third save. Both teams used nine pitchers, while the Indians left a season-high 20 men on base.
The loss was the first for Alomar, who won his managerial debut the previous evening, and dropped the Tribe to 66-92 with four games left in the season. The longtime Cleveland catcher was named as Manny Acta’s replacement Thursday.
Maine’s meltdown spoiled a tremendous comeback by the Indians, who trailed 6-1 after five innings.
The Tribe tied the game at 6 and forced extra innings on a two-out, two-run double by Asdrubal Cabrera in the bottom of the ninth. Santana and Chisenhall both scored as Royals closer Greg Holland blew his fourth save in 19 opportunities.
Cleveland’s rally began in the sixth when Travis Hafner was hit by a pitch and scored on a rare double-error by Kansas City pitcher Nate Adcock, cutting the deficit to 6-2.
In the eighth, Shin-Soo Choo’s two-out, two-run single off Aaron Crow pulled the Indians within 6-4.
Tribe starter Jeanmar Gomez allowed six runs in the third inning — after retiring the first two batters. The right-hander surrendered seven hits in three innings, giving him a 10.34 ERA in four starts since being recalled from Triple-A Columbus on Aug. 29.
Kansas City’s big blows off Gomez were a two-run double by Moustakas and a three-run homer by Jeff Francoeur.
Cleveland relievers Chris Seddon, Tony Sipp, Frank Herrmann, Esmil Rogers, Vinnie Pestano, Cody Allen and Scott Barnes held Kansas City scoreless for the next 10 innings, only allowing two hits. The 11 total relief innings were the most by the Indians since Aug. 9, 2011.
Chisenhall went 3-for-7 to lead the Tribe offensively, while Choo, Brantley, Brent Lillibridge and Ezequiel Carrera each had two hits. Lillibridge added two stolen bases.
Salvador Perez, Irving Falu and Francoeur contributed two hits apiece for Kansas City, which clinched third place in the American League Central Division. Cleveland and Minnesota are tied for fourth.
Royals right-hander Jake Odorizzi made his second MLB start, but only lasted two innings, allowing one run on three walks and two hits. Kansas City pitchers issued 12 walks, but held the Indians to a miserable 3-for-21 performance with runners in scoring position.
Contact Brian Dulik at email@example.com.
• WHO: Cleveland vs. Kansas City
• TIME: 1:05 p.m.
• WHERE: Progressive Field
• PITCHERS: McAllister (5-8, 4.25 ERA) vs. Hochevar (8-15, 5.43)
• TV/RADIO: SportsTime Ohio; WEOL 930-AM, WTAM 1100-AM