Medlen baffles Indians without best stuff

Starter goes 6 1/3 innings in Royals' shutout victory

Medlen baffles Indians without best stuff

CLEVELAND -- Right-hander Kris Medlen gave the Royals exactly what they needed on Tuesday night -- 6 1/3 shutout innings in a 2-0 win over the Indians.

And evidently Medlen did so without anything near his best stuff.

"When he came into the dugout, I asked, 'How did you feel?''' Royals manager Ned Yost said. "And he said, 'Man, I was fighting my mechanics all night.' And I thought, 'That's a good sign. Imagine what he'll be like with good mechanics.'"

The bigger picture was that Medlen helped the Royals arrest a sudden slide -- they'd lost eight of 10 games. With the victory and Minnesota's 5-4 loss to Detroit, the Royals' magic number to clinch the American League Central was clipped to nine.

"We needed a win to stop the bleeding," Yost said. "We needed a good pitching performance, and we needed to get to our bullpen with the lead. And we got that from Kris."

Medlen, though, said the Royals weren't pressing.

"You can't panic your way into first place," he said, "but you can panic your way out of first place. We don't panic."

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Medlen certainly kept his cool, even when he admitted he didn't have his changeup or curveball working at all.

"I just try to fight my own frustration," he said. "No one likes to go out there and give good hitters good counts. I was probably 2-0 to about 67 percent of the hitters.

"But it's baseball and you don't get frustrated. You try to make good pitches when it counts and you know you have that great defense behind us. No matter what situation you're in, one good pitch gets you out of it.

"But it was tough. I didn't have my breaking ball, didn't have my changeup. The one pitch I had was my fastball on the glove side. That was my go-to pitch when I needed something."

Medlen gave up five hits, walked one and struck out none.

"Just tried to keep the ball low and hope our defense could be as good as it always is," Medlen said. "It worked."

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.