Royals’ closing pitcher Joakim Soria came into the ninth with a two run lead and with a spectacular catch from left fielder Alex Gordon, the Royals were able to hang on for a 5-4 win to pull to within one game of the Cleveland Indians.
“I was diving the whole way,” Gordon said. “I don’t know what I was doing, but I was just saying, ‘I’m going to catch this. We’re not going into extras. I’m too cold right now and I’m going to figure out a way to catch this ball.'”
His catch came on pinch hitter Grady Sizemore’s line drive with one out and a runner on third. Austin Kearns stayed at third, who reached on a three base throwing error from Wilson Betemit, but there were two outs and Soria needed the help.
Michael Brantley singled, Soria hit Asdrubal Cabrera with a curveball in the dirt to load the bases, then walked Shin-Soo Choo on a 3-2 pitch to force in the Indians’ fourth run. Cleanup hitter Carlos Santana watched three fastballs cut over the outside of the plate.
Bruce Chen moved to 3-0 and was spotted a five run lead and cruised through his first six innings, running his total to 20 innings without an earned run. Then trouble came in the seventh when he gave up a two run double to Lou Marson. While that was going on the Royals bullpen phone wasn’t working and they couldn’t get Blake Wood up in time. With two outs, Chen gave up another single, but Gordon nailed what would have been the third run trying to score at home to end the inning. Wood pitched the 8th and gave up the Indians’ third run.
The Royals got RBIs from five different players including Gordon as they scored two in the 3rd, one in the 4th and two more in the 5th to pad Chen’s lead.