Royals begin final homestand with win over Indians

Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez hits an RBI single off Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Scott Kazmir during the third inning of a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. Royals' Jeff Gordon scored on the play. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez hits an RBI single off Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Scott Kazmir during the third inning of a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. Royals' Jeff Gordon scored on the play. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - James Shields kept the Indians off balance for six innings, Salvador Perez led a scrappy Kansas City offense and the Royals pounded Cleveland 7-1 on Monday night to open a three-game set with significant playoff implications.

Shields struck out a season-high 10 for the Royals (79-71), who moved within 2½ games of the AL’s second wild-card berth. The Indians (81-69) remained a half-game back of Texas, which lost to Tampa Bay earlier in the night in a matchup of teams leading the wild-card race.

Shields (12-9) allowed only Lonnie Chisenhall’s solo homer before turning the game over to his stingy bullpen. Wade Davis, Luke Hochevar and Tim Collins did the rest in a steady drizzle.

Scott Kazmir (8-9) gave up four runs in 5-plus innings for the Indians. He didn’t get a whole lot of help from his offense, which racked up a season-high 17 strikeouts.

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