CLEVELAND (AP) — Jason Kipnis drove in Nick Swisher with a two-out double in the seventh inning, sending the Cleveland Indians to a 5-3 win over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night.
Kipnis ripped his double off Kelvin Herrera (0-1) into the gap in right-center, deep enough to easily score Swisher, who reached on a two-out single. The Indians tacked on an insurance run in the eighth on pinch-hitter Lonnie Chisenhall’s bloop RBI single.
Bryan Shaw (1-0) finished the seventh and got one out in the eighth. Cody Allen retired two, and John Axford worked the ninth for his AL-leading eighth save.
Michael Bourn had three hits and two RBIs for the Indians.
Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas hit back-to-back homers in the second for Kansas City.
Indians starter Justin Masterson remained winless through five starts. The staff’s ace, who turned down a contract extension during spring training, allowed two earned runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings.
Down 3-2, the Indians tied it in the sixth off lefty starter Jason Vargas when Michael Brantley scored from first on two Kansas City errors.
Brantley singled with one out, and broke for second with two down and Yan Gomes batting. As Brantley slid safely into second, the throw from catcher Perez skipped into center field. Brantley hustled toward third and center fielder Jarrod Dyson took his eye off the ball, overrunning it and letting the tying run score.
Moustakas gave the Royals a 3-2 lead in the sixth, when an error by second baseman Kipnis helped set up Kansas City’s unearned go-ahead run.
Eric Hosmer singled and was safe at second after Kipnis dropped shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera’s low throw. Hosmer moved to third on a fielder’s choice and Moustakas delivered his two-out RBI single.
Bourn atoned for a baserunning blunder with a two-run triple in the second to tie it 2-2.
After a pair of singles and fielder’s choice put runners at first and third with two outs, Bourn, who got caught in between second and third in the first, hit it between the outfielders in right-center for his first triple. As he rounded second, the speedy Bourn didn’t appear to have lost a step after he was sidelined to open the season with a strained hamstring.
Perez and Moustakas connected in the second off Masterson.
With one out, Perez snapped an 0-for-22 slump with a drive over the center-field wall for his first homer. Four pitches later, Moustakas made it 2-0 with a liner into the Royals’ bullpen, the same place he hit a three-run shot on Tuesday in Kansas City’s 8-2 win.
NOTES: Sloppy play has been one of Cleveland’s main problems. The Indians came in tied for the AL lead with 20 errors. “As a team, we have not played very good defense yet,” manager Terry Francona said. “I think we will be better. We need to be better. We’re that type of team where when we play clean baseball, we generally give ourselves a chance to win. When you give a team extra outs or extra opportunities, it certainly makes it tougher.” … Royals 1B coach Rusty Kuntz had eight screws and a plate inserted into his left arm, broken Monday when he was hit by a Perez line drive during batting practice. Kuntz will spend one night at the Cleveland Clinic but is expected to travel with the team Thursday to Baltimore. … Indians 3B/DH Carlos Santana is in a 2-for-46 (.043) slide. … The Royals fell to 0-10 when they score fewer than four runs.