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CLE@KC: Betancourt ties game with solo shot to left

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals can't be very happy with Shin-Soo Choo.

The Cleveland outfielder factored in two of Saturday night's biggest plays, including the game-winning, two-run double in the top of the 10th that delivered an 11-9 win for the Indians at Kauffman Stadium.

Choo smacked a pitch off Royals reliever Greg Holland to deep left-center, and the ball bounced off the top of the wall above the glove of center fielder Jarrod Dyson.

"I didn't see the replay, but the guys told me the ball and the glove hit the wall at the same time," Dyson said. "I really didn't think it was going that far, but wind was a factor in this game. I couldn't really feel the ball because when I jumped up, I hit padding and I scraped the fence. But I feel like if it ain't out of the park, I've got to make that play."

The game-winning hit wasn't the first time Choo caused a stir Saturday night. Royals starter Jonathan Sanchez drilled Choo in the knee with a pitch in the top of the third inning, leading to the first of two bench-clearing get-togethers on the infield.

Throughout the game, Royals fans certainly voiced their displeasure with a chorus of boos each time the Cleveland outfielder stepped to the plate.

The Royals trailed, 9-2, in the the fifth and chipped away until finally tying the game on Yuniesky Betancourt's solo home run in the bottom of the eighth. But Choo's hit was the final blow.

"We did a great job coming back," Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas said. "I was real proud of what we did, especially being down five [after the top of the third]. We came and scratched and clawed our way back into that game. We never feel like we're out of it."

Things started badly for the Royals, much like they did the day before, when starting pitcher Luke Hochevar struggled in a seven-run first inning. On Saturday, it took a couple innings longer, but Cleveland touched Sanchez for five runs in the third, sending Kansas City into another early hole.

Sanchez's tumultuous third inning was highlighted by the bench-clearing confrontation. Choo took particular exception to the plunking, as it was Sanchez who broke Choo's thumb with a pitch last June in San Francisco. Cleveland went on to score four more runs in the inning, knocking Sanchez out of the game.

"When the benches clear, it's part of the game sometimes," Sanchez said. "I was focused. I was in the game. It just didn't happen the way I wanted it to happen."

Cleveland starter Jeanmar Gomez hit Moustakas -- the first batter in the bottom of the frame -- to set off another incident on the infield. The second meeting between the two teams produced ejections for Gomez, third baseman Jack Hannahan and manager Manny Acta.

Following the early exits of both starting pitchers, both clubs got to the opposing bullpens.

Cleveland scored four runs off reliever Tim Collins, and the Royals scored all of their runs off the Indians relief corps. Starting in the fifth, the Royals plated two runs in three consecutive innings, and Betancourt's eighth-inning home run tied the game at 9.

Moustakas keyed the comeback with a pair of RBI doubles. Designated hitter Billy Butler also contributed two RBI hits.

After Collins left, four Royals combined for four scoreless innings, allowing the offense to engineer the comeback.

"You want to try to hold the fort so you can chip your way back into it," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We did tonight, and we just couldn't get that one extra run we needed to close the game out."

Cleveland reliever Jairo Asencio earned the win, the first of his career. Chris Perez pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the 10th for his second save of the season.

"It stings," said Holland, who was saddled with the loss. "We had a lot of resiliency on this team to come from behind and have a chance to win it. And to not get it done, it hurts." Comments