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SPOTLIGHT
Royals split doubleheader in K.C.

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Royals split doubleheader in K.C.

Published on -4/29/2013, 10:13 AM

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By DAVE SKRETTA

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Ned Yost was positively glowing after the opener of Sunday's day-night doubleheader against Cleveland, and for good reason. The Royals had rolled to a 9-0 victory.

He had a much different assessment of the nightcap.

"We were crummy," the manager said.

Mike Aviles hit a three-run homer and finished with a career-high five RBIs, and the Indians cruised to a 10-3 victory to split the first day-night doubleheader in Kauffman Stadium history.

Carlos Santana had four hits and drove in a run in Game 2 for the Indians, while the Royals committed three errors that helped lead to four unearned runs.

"We didn't play good. We didn't play good defensively. We didn't make smart decisions on the base paths. It happens," Yost said. "You have games like this. The important thing is you forget it and come back tomorrow ready to go. It wasn't lack of concentration."

The Indians scored twice off spot starter Will Smith (0-1) in the second inning. Aviles hit his homer in the third, and then he added sacrifice flies in the fourth and seventh innings against his former team, doing his best to wake up the Indians' long-slumbering offense.

"Things haven't been going the way we wanted them to lately. Everybody knows that," Aviles said. "It was good to get a couple runs and then add on."

Corey Kluber yielded only Chris Getz's two-run blooper in the fourth in a stellar spot start for Cleveland. Kluber (2-0) lasted seven innings and retired his final 10 batters.

"It was a tough ballgame all the way around," Yost said. "We just didn't play well."

The Royals played much better in the opener of a doubleheader caused by Friday's rainout.

Guthrie (3-0) allowed six hits through 6.2 innings for his 16th consecutive start without a loss. That matched the Kansas City record set by Paul Splittorff from Aug. 13, 1977-April 22, 1978.

"I knew it's been a number of starts in a row, because people kept reminding me of it," Guthrie said with a smile. "Ultimately, it means a lot because hopefully the guys behind me when I go out are confident that we have a chance to win the game."

Confidence was perhaps the biggest thing that Guthrie was missing last season in Colorado. He was just 3-9 with a 6.35 ERA before a trade to Kansas City, but went 5-3 with a 3.16 ERA the rest of the way, earning a $25 million, three-year contract from the Royals in November.

Guthrie's gone at least six innings in all four of his starts this season.

"I have the kind of confidence I want to go into each start with," he said, "that good stuff or not, I can keep us in it and give us a chance to win the game."

Alcides Escobar and Alex Gordon homered to pace Kansas City.

Escobar's solo shot came in the fifth inning and Gordon's two-run homer came in the eighth, capping a big afternoon for the Royals offense. Jarrod Dyson also drove in a pair of runs, and Mike Moustakas had a single and three walks -- one with the bases loaded.

"The walks to Moustakas were big," Indians manager Terry Francona conceded.

Justin Masterson (4-2) allowed seven runs in 6.1 innings for the Indians. The right-hander, who entered the game with a 1.85 ERA, was trying to join Bob Lemon, Greg Swindell and Cliff Lee as the only pitchers in franchise history with five wins in April.

Instead, Masterson got roughed up by the bottom of the Royals' lineup.

"Justin Masterson is such a good pitcher, and going into the game, my mind was prepared for a low-scoring affair," Yost said. "I thought we'd have to squeak out some runs."

So much for that. The only close call off Guthrie came in the second inning.

Santana hit a drive to center that hit off the green padding atop the wall. The ball bounced back into play and was ruled a double, and the call was upheld when the umpires checked the replay. Santana was left stranded when Guthrie retired Ryan Raburn and Lonnie Chisenhall.

"It was close," Francona said. "I wish it had went about 2 inches further."

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