CLEVELAND — The Indians have endured plenty of bad breaks over the first two and a half months of the season. Tuesday night at Progressive Field, one finally went their way.
Leading by a run in the ninth inning with runners on first and second, one out and right-hander Vinnie Pestano on the mound, Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar delivered what appeared to be the game-tying single.
Another implosion from Cleveland’s bullpen was derailed, though, when Akron native David Lough ran through the stop sign at third base and was caught in a rundown. The play ended with the Indians getting an out on the runner behind Lough, Mike Moustakas.
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Had Lough kept coming to the plate, he likely would have scored because the throw from right fielder Drew Stubbs was offline.
Instead, Pestano retired the following batter for his third save and a 4-3 Indians win.
“I thought I just blew the game, to be honest,” said Pestano, who admitted he was surprised KC third base coach Eddie Rodriguez was attempting to hold Lough. “I guess it was better to be lucky than good tonight.”
The Indians will take a win anyway they can get one these days. Falling out of second place and under .500 with a loss to Kansas City in the series opener Monday, Cleveland reclaimed the second spot and gained a game on first-place Detroit, which it trails by 4½ games in the Central Division standings.
The Royals lost for just the third time in 14 games.
The Indians trailed until they scored three times in the eighth inning off KC’s bullpen, which took over after a sparkling seven-inning effort from starter Ervin Santana.
- WHO: Cleveland vs. Kansas City
- TIME: 7:05
- WHERE: Progressive Field
- PITCHERS: Masterson (8-5, 3.52 ERA) vs. Mendoza (2-3, 4.08)
- TV/RADIO: SportsTime Ohio; WEOL 930-AM, WTAM 1100-AM, WMMS 100.7-FM