KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Carlos Santana and Francisco Lindor hit back-to-back home runs with two outs in the ninth inning to lift the Cleveland Indians to a 3-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday.
Kelvin Herrera (1-1) gave up the home runs in a span of three pitches. Santana took a 2-0 pitch out to right-center. Lindor hit his eighth, which landed in the Indians’ bullpen.
Andrew Miller (2-0) picked up the victory, while Cody Allen earned his eighth save in as many opportunities, but had to work around a walk and a single.
The Royals led 1-0 going into the eighth, but the bullpen could not hold it.
Joakim Soria, the third Kansas City pitcher, gave up three hits and the tying run in the eighth for his second blown save. Kipnis’ two-out single scored Michael Brantley.
Royals left-hander Jason Vargas allowed four singles over six-plus scoreless innings in a no-decision.
Vargas lowered his ERA to 1.19. He has a 0.34 ERA in four home starts, giving up one earned run in 26 2/3 innings. Opponents are hitting .181 off him at Kauffman Stadium.
Indians starter Josh Tomlin, who entered the game with an 8.87 ERA, limited the Royals to one run and three hits over seven innings.
Eric Hosmer drove in the lone Royals run. His fourth-inning single extended his hitting streak to 10 games and scored Lorenzo Cain, who had doubled.
Vargas was removed after Kipnis led off the seventh with an infield single.
Rookie Matt Strahm replaced Vargas and struck out Brandon Guyer with a 95 mph fastball. After walking Yan Gomes on five pitches, the runners advanced to second and third on Abraham Almonte’s ground out to first.
Alex Gordon made a diving catch of Santana’s blooper to shallow left to end the inning and strand the runners.
Royals: RF Jorge Soler (left oblique strain) was activated from the DL. Soler, who was injured in spring training, hit .308 with a .538 slugging percentage in 11 rehab games with Triple-A Omaha. … The Royals optioned RHP Miguel Almonte back to Double-A Northwest Arkansas one day after he was recalled.
Indians: RHP Mike Clevinger was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte and will start the series finale.
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy will try to snap a personal two-game losing streak when he starts the home stand finale.
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