- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Indians are accustomed to seeing Bryan Shaw put up scoreless innings in relief.

They haven’t seen him do it in a while.

Called upon after seven solid innings from Josh Tomlin, Shaw gave up a single to Eric Hosmer before a two-run homer by Salvador Perez with two outs in the eighth Monday night. The shot to center not only sent the Kansas City Royals to a 3-2 victory, it moved them within a game of Cleveland in the AL Central.

It was the third straight appearance in which Shaw (0-3) has surrendered at least a run.

“It’s very frustrating. Tomlin pitched his butt off,” he said. “He gave us the opportunity to win the ballgame and I didn’t do my job.”

Joakim Soria (3-2) pitched a scoreless eighth inning for Kansas City, then proceeded to handle the ninth with setup men Luke Hochevar and Kelvin Herrera and closer Wade Davis getting the night off - all of them had carried a heavy workload the past three days.

Soria got Jason Kipnis to pop out with runners on first and second to end it.

The comeback scuttled a solid performance by Tomlin, who allowed seven hits while striking out five without a walk. He exited with a 2-1 lead and in line to beat Kansas City for the third time this season.

“I don’t care about my win. I care about this team winning games,” he said. “It stinks to lose in that situation. We have the utmost faith in Shaw every time he goes out there. He’s one of the best relievers, in my opinion. He’ll make adjustments. We’ve seen what he’s done in the past.”

Whit Merrifield also went deep for the Royals, winners of four straight after an eight-game skid.

“It’s a long season but you want to play night-in and night-out good baseball,” Royals starter Chris Young said. “Be nice to get on a streak now and finish up this series well.”

The Indians took their first lead of the series when Carlos Santana homered in the third, his 13th of the year. It was also the AL-leading 18th that Young had allowed.

Merrifield matched it in the bottom half, the 27-year-old rookie sending a 2-2 pitch over the left-field wall. His second career homer came 24 hours after his first.

“He’s just doing a fantastic job,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Young continued to struggle with his command in the fifth, walking two more batters to exceed his 85-pitch limit. Dillon Gee entered in relief and Kipnis promptly swatted the second pitch he saw for an RBI single that gave Cleveland a 2-1 lead.

The Royals had a chance to tie it in the seventh when pinch-hitter Paulo Orlando slapped a single and Cheslor Cuthbert sacrificed him to second, but Jarrod Dyson and Merrifield were unable to get him home.

Perez made it a forgotten point with his big hit in the eighth.

“If you can keep these guys in the game, they like the late-inning heroics,” said Dillon Gee, who tossed three scoreless innings in relief of Young to make the comeback possible.

STAKING A CLAIM

The Royals claimed LHP Tyler Olson off waivers from the Yankees and assigned him to Triple-A Omaha, and created roster space by transferring 3B Mike Moustakas (ACL) to the 60-day DL. Olson has spent most of the season in the minors, though he did throw 2 2/3 innings of relief for New York in April.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: 3B Moustakas stopped in the clubhouse after surgery to repair a torn right ACL. He has already started rehabbed, most of which will take place in Florida. “It’s not fun to sit there and watch and not be out there,” he said, “but my job is to get better and get ready for next season.”

Indians: 3B Juan Uribe was feeling better after sustaining a testicular contusion Sunday against the Angels. He remained out of the lineup, though manager Terry Francona said Uribe did all pregame work.

UP NEXT

Indians RHP Corey Kluber tries to build on a complete-game victory over the Angels in the series finale Wednesday night. RHP Ian Kennedy is on the mound for Kansas City.


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