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Jorge Bonifacio, Cheslor Cuthbert lead way in Royals' 7-4 victory over Indians

By RUSTIN DODD • Aug 20, 2017 at 6:32 PM

 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The release came in the bottom of the fifth on Sunday, two outs in the inning, the bottom of the lineup set to bat against Indians starter Danny Salazar.

For four-plus innings, the Royals hammered away at Salazar to little effect, rapping out 10 hits while producing just three runs. For two days, they had been outclassed by a first-place team.

And when Mike Moustakas struck out for the second out in the fifth, leaving Eric Hosmer standing at first, it appeared the offense might strand another runner on base. Moments later, Jorge Bonifacio dug in at the plate, and a victory took shape.

Bonifacio ripped an 0-2 fastball to center field, singling after falling behind on two sliders. Shortstop Alcides Escobar followed by lining an RBI single to right field, scoring Hosmer from second and chasing Salazar from the game. Third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert punctuated the sequence, shooting a first-pitch fastball from reliever Zach McAllister into right field for a two-run single.

In a 7-4 victory over the Indians, the two-out rally in the fifth transformed a tie game into a three-run lead and stood up as the decisive blow. The Royals (62-61) avoided a sweep at the hands of the Indians and salvaged a win on a warm afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

Bonifacio finished 3 for 4 with a double in a rare start. Escobar extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a pair of singles. Cuthbert finished 2 for 4 with a booming solo homer to left and three RBIs.

The production backed starter Jason Hammel, who surrendered three runs in six innings while improving to 6-9 with a 4.73 ERA. The Royals pulled within 6 { games of the Indians while holding ground in a crowded American League wild-card race.

The victory came after being outscored 15-1 in losses on Friday and Saturday. A day off looms on Monday. The Royals will seek to carry the momentum into a series opener against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.

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(c)2017 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

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