Royals can’t hold lead again in loss to Indians

CLEVELAND (AP) — Another late lead, another late loss for the Kansas City Royals.

Asdrubal Cabrera hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning off Louis Coleman to erase Kansas City’s two-run lead and lift the Cleveland Indians to an 8-7 win over the Royals on Saturday night.

The loss marked the second straight night the Royals couldn’t hold a late lead against the Indians. Kansas City took a 1-0 lead into the seventh inning Friday, but Cleveland tied the game and scored the go-ahead run when Tim Collins walked Ezequiel Carrera with the bases loaded.

Saturday’s meltdown was even tougher to take since the Royals battled all night and responded every time the Indians scored, taking the lead on three different occasions. Alex Gordon’s three-run homer broke a 4-4 tie in the seventh, a blow that appeared to put the Royals on the verge of a win.

“It felt like we were trying to stick our fingers in the dike all day long before it caved in on us,” manager Ned Yost said. “We didn’t pitch well. We couldn’t get anybody to have a clean inning.”

The loss dropped Kansas City to 21-28 in one-run games and 4-17 on the road.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had a lot of one-run games,” Gordon said. “This happens to be another one. It’s tough, but we’re not going to hang our heads.”

Coleman (1-4) tried to get a 1-1 slider past Cabrera, but the ball landed in the seats in right field.

“He likes the ball in and I got it in a little bit instead of keeping it away,” Coleman said.

The slider didn’t surprise the Indians’ shortstop, who has a career-high 21 home runs.

“That is what he threw to the guys in front of me,” Cabrera said. “In that situation, I was looking for one swing. I got it.”

Coleman, a reliable setup man for the Royals all season, has allowed seven runs on eight hits in three innings over his last three outings. He gave up a home run to Toronto’s Brett Lawrie in the seventh inning to snap a tie and send the Royals to a 4-3 loss on Wednesday.

“I’m making some costly mistakes — not good timing,” Coleman said.

Gordon, who came into the game in a 2-for-15 slump with nine strikeouts, hit his career-high 18th homer off Tony Sipp.

“I was just trying to drive the ball and not hit into a double play,” Gordon said.

The Royals nearly tied the score in the ninth against Indians closer Chris Perez. Salvador Perez dropped a single into center field and took second when the ball skipped past Carrera for an error. Alcides Escobar tried to sacrifice the runner to third, but Chris Perez pounced on the ball and threw to third for the out.

Escobar was bunting on his own, a fact that didn’t please his manager.

“We’ve already had that conversation,” Yost said. “That’s not a spot we’re looking to bunt.”

Escobar stole second, but Gordon, who had three hits, scored two runs and drew a walk, struck out. Melky Cabrera, who was 3 for 3 lifetime against Perez, including a game-winning hit earlier this season, struck out to end the game.

Joe Smith (3-3) got the final out in the eighth for the win and Perez recorded his 29th save in 33 chances.

Royals starter Danny Duffy allowed four runs in 5 1-3 innings. He gave up a solo homer to newly-acquired Jim Thome in the sixth, the 602nd of the slugger’s career. The blast came on Thome’s 41st birthday.

Trailing 1-0, the Royals scored three times in the fourth off Fausto Carmona on Eric Hosmer’s RBI single and a two-run double by Mike Moustakas. The Indians tied the game in the bottom of the inning, but Melky Cabrera’s RBI double put Kansas City ahead in the fifth, though Gordon was out trying to score from first.

Asdrubal Cabrera’s RBI single pulled Cleveland to 7-5 in the seventh.

Notes: Gordon is hitting .484 (15 for 31) off Carmona overall. ... Indians OF Shin-Soo Choo left in the fifth after aggravating his sore left side. He had missed two games with the injury and went 0 for 2 before being replaced by pinch-hitter Carrera. ... Royals LHP Bruce Chen (9-5) will oppose RHP Justin Masterson (10-7) in the series finale Sunday. Chen has won a career-high four straight. He’s 11-4 against the AL Central the past two years and 4-0 against Cleveland since joining Kansas City in 2009.

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