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Aoki's 14th-inning hit lifts Royals over Indians

Friday, July 25, 2014 | 12:19 a.m. CDT
Kansas City Royals' Mike Moustakas, right, celebrates with Salvador Perez and other players after hitting an inside-the-park home run in the eighth inning Thursday against the Cleveland Indians.

KANSAS CITY — Nori Aoki singled home Lorenzo Cain in the 14th inning to lift the Kansas City Royals to a 2-1 win over Cleveland after Indians starter Corey Kluber carried a perfect game into the seventh inning on Thursday night.

Cain opened the 14th with an infield single and stole second before Aoki delivered the winning hit off John Axford on a full-count pitch with one out.

Aaron Crow (5-1), the seventh Kansas City pitcher, earned the victory — striking out the side in a perfect 14th.

Left-hander Marc Rzepcynski (0-3), who gave up the hit to Cain, took the loss.

Kluber held the Royals to two hits, retiring the first 19 batters he faced before Omar Infante, who was in a 0-for-16 skid, lined a single to center with one out in the seventh.

Mike Moustakas doubled and scored on a throwing error by left fielder Ryan Raburn in the eighth inning to give the Royals a 1-0 lead. Moustakas hit a fly ball down the left-field line that Raburn nearly caught. When Raburn tracked down the ball in foul territory, he spiked a throw that rolled into center field.

The Indians tied it in the ninth off Greg Holland, who blew his second save in 28 chances. Holland walked Carlos Santana leading off the inning, and pinch-hitter Chris Dickerson bunted him to second. Gomes' two-out single to center scored Santana.

After Infante's hit, Kluber got out of the inning when Alex Gordon struck out, and Infante was thrown out trying to steal second.

Kluber, who allowed only one unearned run in nine innings, struck out 10 and walked none.

Royals starter Danny Duffy, who was 1-5 in his previous six starts, gave up two singles — both to Santana — in seven scoreless innings. Duffy, who also walked two, was pulled after 108 pitches.

Duffy lowered his earned run average to 2.47. He is the only American League pitcher with a losing record with an ERA less than three.

Wade Davis, who replaced Duffy, pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth. With one out, he permitted singles to Jose Ramirez and pinch-hitter David Murphy sandwiched around a walk to Jason Kipnis. Davis then got Michael Brantley to ground into an inning-ending double play.


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