The Kansas City Royals turned in an impressive performance Tuesday night, receiving a strong start from James Shields and a key homerun from Mike Moustakas in an 8-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians.
Cleveland scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the second. Asdrubal Cabrera reached base with one out after Omar Infante committed an error at second, then David Murphy slapped a single to put runners on the corners. Shields struck out Yan Gomes, but then hit Lonnie Chisenhall with a pitch that bounced about five feet in front of him. Michael Bourn followed with a RBI-single, giving the Indians a 1-0 lead.
Kansas City looked ineffective against Danny Salazar until the top of the fourth. Eric Hosmer hit a leadoff single, then Billy Butler followed with a chopper to third base. Carlos Santana probably should have grabbed the grounder, but shortarmed the ball and it was ruled a hit.
It looked like Salazar would escape the inning unscathed after an Alex Gordon popout and Salvador Perez strikeout, but Moustakas saved the day. Salazar hung a breaking pitch over the middle of the plate and Moose absolutely crushed the pitch, blasting a three-run jack to deep rightfield.
The Royals picked up another run in the inning after the homer. Alcides Escobar followed with a single, then swiped second base. Gomes airmailed the throw, allowing Escobar to take third. Jarrod Dyson followed with a perfectly placed bunt down the first base line, reaching base and driving in Escobar.
Hosmer and Butler hit back-to-back doubles in the top of the fifth, helping Kansas City score their fifth run of the game and chasing Salazar. The right-hander did strike out six batters, but was not efficient with his pitches and battled his command most of the night.
Shields settled down after the second inning, not allowing another run until the sixth. Michael Brantley led off the inning with a single, then swiped second base. Gomes eventually drove him in with a RBI-double, but Shields limited the damage after that. Shields finished the game with nine strikeouts, only issuing one walk over six innings.
Kansas City added an insurance run in the seventh. Infante led off the inning with a single, and Hosmer plated him with a double to left. They picked up two more runs in the ninth thanks to a Hosmer single, Butler walk and Gordon double.
The Royals offense finished with 13 hits and six walks. Every Royal starter had a hit except for Perez. Hosmer finished the game with four hits, while Escobar and Butler each collected two hits and drew one walk.
Danny Duffy threw two shutout innings of relief, striking out two batters while walking none. Aaron Crow worked a scoreless ninth to end the game.
The two teams will meet again tomorrow night at Progressive Field. Jason Vargas will start the game for Kansas City, facing off against Justin Masterson.