CLEVELAND – Francisco Lindor, making a late run for AL Rookie of the Year, was 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI in leading the Cleveland Indians to a 5-1 win over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night.
Danny Salazar (13-8) took a three-hit shutout into the seventh before Mike Moustakas started the inning with a home run. The righthander allowed just that one run and struck out six in seven innings.
Lindor, who matched his career high in hits and RBI, had a solo homer in the first inning for his 100th hit since being called up from the minors on June 14.
He added a two-run single in the second and an RBI single in the fourth.
He also began the fifth with an outstanding play at shortstop. He dived to his left to come up with Alex Rios' ground ball and made a one-hop throw to first from his knees for the out.
The Indians (72-72) got back to .500 and remained in contention for the second wild-card spot in the AL.
Danny Duffy (7-8) allowed four runs in 2⅓ innings for Kansas City, which has dropped nine of 12.
Lindor drove a ball several rows deep in the left-field bleachers in the first. Following Jason Kipnis' RBI single in the second, the switch-hitter punched a hit through the right side for a 4-0 lead.
Lindor's first two hits came from the right side against the lefthanded Duffy. His fourth-inning single was off righthander Jeremy Guthrie.
Lindor, 21, was Cleveland's No. 1 draft pick in 2011, the eighth overall. He began the season at Triple-A Columbus.
Cleveland entered play five games behind Houston, but also trailed Minnesota and Los Angeles in the wild-card race.
Kansas City was a season-high 31 games over .500 (82-51) on Sept. 3 before its recent rough stretch.