|Masterson, Brantley lead Indians past Royals 6-3|
|Thursday, June 20, 2013 12:19 AM|
By TOM WITHERS
CLEVELAND — Justin Masterson managed to hang around for 6 1/3 innings and win for the sixth time at home, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 6-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night.
Masterson (9-5) sidestepped some early trouble without giving up any runs and improved to 6-1 with a 2.29 ERA in nine starts at Progressive Field. The right-hander struck out eight while allowing two runs and nine hits.
Michael Brantley hit a pair of solo homers for the Indians. Mike Aviles drove in two runs and Michael Bourn scored twice for Cleveland.
Unable to get a hit for four innings off Luis Mendoza (2-4), Brantley homered in the fifth and the Indians added three runs in the sixth. Brantley connected again in the eighth.
It wasn’t a certainty he would survive the first few innings as the Royals put two runners on in the first and second but failed to score. Kansas City stranded eight runners in the first five innings and Masterson got a big defensive play by first baseman Mark Reynolds to get out of a pickle in the fourth.
Masterson was lifted in the seventh.
The Indians chased Mendoza during their 3-run sixth. With two on and none out, Aviles hit a ball to deep left that probably should have been caught by Alex Gordon but the 2-time Gold Glove winner dropped it, allowing Drew Stubbs to score and tie it at 2. Jason Kipnis followed with a well-timed bunt single to load the bases and Mendoza threw four straight balls to Carlos Santana, forcing in Bourn with the go-ahead run.
Tim Collins then came in and allowed Brantley’s sacrifice fly that made it 4-2 but after giving up a single, he struck out pinch-hitter Ryan Raburn and got Lonnie Chisenhall on a groundout.
However, the Indians tacked on an insurance run in the seventh when Bourn doubled, stole third and scored on Aviles’ fly ball to right.
Cleveland also got solid relief work from Bryan Shaw, who pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
The Royals finally pushed a run across in the fourth. David Lough singled with one out and Mike Moustakas doubled. Elliot Johnson followed with an RBI single but Masterson struck out Alcides Escobar and Reynolds dived to his right to snag Gordon’s liner and rob him of a 2-run double.
The Royals made it 2-0 in the fifth on Lough’s RBI single.