By Jeffrey Flanagan and August Fagerstrom
CLEVELAND -- Eric Hosmer hit a go-ahead home run in the ninth inning off Indians starter Trevor Bauer as the Royals secured a 2-1 victory on Tuesday night at Progressive Field.
The homer spoiled an otherwise impressive night for Bauer (8-8, 4.13 ERA), who threw the first complete game of his career. The 24-year-old right-hander allowed two earned runs on five hits and one walk, striking out six.
"I was just trying to see a ball in the zone and go the other way, and I think that kept me on the breaking ball," Hosmer said. "[Bauer] was doing a good job of mixing all night. He threw fastballs, cutters, sliders, so you couldn't sit on one pitch."
Royals starter Chris Young (8-6, 3.25 ERA) racked up a high pitch count early -- 57 through the first two innings -- but he escaped without any damage. Young lasted just 4 2/3 innings, but he allowed just one earned run on five hits and three walks. He struck out five.
"The object of the game is to win," Young said. "My job is to go out there and keep us in the game, and I was able to do that."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Running wild: The Indians took advantage of Young's low velocity and slow delivery by attempting seven stolen bases against the right-hander, being successful on six. In the fifth inning, Michael Bourn stole second and third, and scored when catcher Salvador Perez made an errant throw to third baseman Mike Moustakas.
"You don't want to run when you can't, but when an opportunity presents itself, it seemed to make sense," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "You have to be able to get a pretty good jump on your pitcher, because the guy behind the plate has a really good arm."
Hoz on offense, defense: Hosmer came into the game with a .390 average this season against the Indians. And, he registered three more hits, including an RBI single in the fourth that tied the score at 1 and the homer in the ninth. Hosmer now has 19 RBIs against the Tribe, the most of any player against Cleveland this season. Hosmer also saved a run in the seventh when, with a runner on second, he made a great pick on a tough-hop grounder from Michael Brantley and beat Brantley to the bag for the third out. More >
"That was a big play by Hoz on Brantley to save a run," manager Ned Yost said. "And I really don't know why he has such success. He's a good player. He's going to have success like that against teams."
Grand opportunity: After Bourn's trip around the bases, the Indians found themselves in the position for a potential big inning, loading the bags with two out and Brandon Moss at the plate in the fifth. Moss, however, swung at the first pitch and popped out foul to the third baseman. After the popout, the Indians held a .133/.229/.160 slash line in 75 at-bats with the bases loaded. Their .389 bases-loaded OPS is the worst in the Majors.
"It's just one of those things where, the more you try, the more you try, the more you try, the more adjustments you try to make, we're just not making them," Moss said.
Flashy flip: After Hosmer's homer in the ninth, Roberto Perez led off the Tribe's half by hitting a chopper that bounced over closer Greg Holland's head and skipped over the second-base bag. Omar Infante gloved the ball, flipped it to shortstop Alcides Escobar without transferring, and Escobar fired barehanded to first base to retire Perez. More >
"That was an unbelievable play," Francona said. "If you're a fan watching the game, that's what you pay for, but not real fun from our standpoint. But that was a heck of a play."
Indians right fielder Brandon Moss appeared to have made his second great play of the game in the fourth when Lorenzo Cain roped a line drive over his head in right-center field. Moss ranged and threw up his glove, snaring the sinking liner at the warning track before taking several steps and crashing into the wall. Upon the impact, the ball popped out of Moss' glove, and the speedy Cain made it to third base. The Indians challenged that Moss had control of the ball before it was jarred loose, but the call on the field was confirmed.
"I was just hoping that he had carried it long enough that we would get it," Francona said. "I didn't think we were going to get it, but it's worth a shot."
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The Indians have now lost eight consecutive games at home, their longest home skid since 1975.
WHAT'S NEXT Royals: Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie will start the finale of this three-game road set on Wednesday at 11:10 a.m. CT. Guthrie (7-6, 5.35 ERA) gave up four runs over seven innings last Friday in a loss to Houston.
Indians: Right-hander Corey Kluber will get the ball in the series finale at Progressive Field on Wednesday at 12:10 p.m. ET. Kluber is looking to bounce back after allowing a season-high six earned runs his last time out. He is 0-3 against the Royals this year with 13 earned runs allowed in 20 innings.
Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.