CLEVELAND (AP) -
's confidence is catching up to his natural ability.
Gutierrez hit a three-run homer in a five-run eighth inning and made a diving catch to end the game, as the
rallied to defeat the
Kansas City Royals
8-5 on Wednesday night.
''I'm thinking positive and it is working,'' Gutierrez said. ''After the home run, I was thinking, 'What if I finish the game
with a great catch?' Then I did.''
The Indians' first four hits were homers, including two by
, and they won for the ninth time in 12 games. The Royals, meanwhile, have lost 11 of 13.
''Any time you snap one away late like that, it feels good,'' Indians manager
Kansas City outfielder
left in the fifth inning after getting hit in the face by a pitch from Indians starter
during a four-run rally that put the Royals ahead 5-3.
Maier immediately crumpled to the ground, and manager Trey Hillman and team trainers came out to check on him. Maier walked
off the field and was taken to a hospital for X-rays, which revealed three broken bones below his right eye.
Gutierrez connected off closer
(1-3) to ruin a fine performance by Kansas City starter
, giving the win to
(3-3) after he worked a scoreless eighth.
pitched the ninth for his fourth save. He retired three straight, getting the final out when Gutierrez raced toward the right-field
line and made a diving catch of a fly ball hit by
''I've made some adjustments and am playing with more confidence,'' said Gutierrez, who has hit .346 with three homers and
10 RBIs over his last 15 games to lift his average to .234.
''This game felt good. It gives me more positive thinking.''
A year ago, Gutierrez hit .266 with 13 homers in only 271 at-bats to earn the starting job in right field down the stretch
as Cleveland won the AL Central.
Meche retired the final 17 batters he faced and gave up only two hits over seven innings. The right-hander struck out nine.
Hillman said lifting Meche with a 5-3 lead was the right decision.
''He's over 100 pitches,'' Hillman said. ''It's late in the season. He's not going to have any extra rest. We're already falling
apart with our rotation. I don't understand why there would be second guessing. If people want to second guess, that's fine.
''I could have sent him back out for another one, but we just lost two guys in our rotation.''
was sent to the minors last week and
went on the disabled list before the game with a right rib contusion.
Meche yielded a two-run homer to
, his 20th, in the first inning. Shoppach homered to open the Indians' second for a 3-1 lead, then Meche pitched perfect ball.
''I felt fine,'' Meche said. ''I felt good. It's a game we should have won.''
began the bottom of the eighth, and Shoppach hit his 14th homer on the reliever's second pitch to get make it 5-4.
Pinch-hitter Shin-Soo Choo walked and was sacrificed to second by
. Soria came on and walked
, then yielded Gutierrez's seventh homer.
''He's had some big hits lately and there's not many bigger than that,'' Wedge said. ''He really stepped up.''
One out later, Soria hit Peralta with a pitch and walked
's RBI single made it 8-5.
' three-run double on the first pitch after Jackson hit Maier put the Royals ahead 4-3.
singled to start the Royals' fifth. With Maier squaring around to bunt, Jackson threw a pitch up and in and the Royals outfielder
could not get out of the way.
Aviles later stole third as DeJesus struck out and scored when catcher Shoppach threw the ball down the left-field line for
The Royals took a 1-0 lead in the first on a sacrifice fly by
Jackson yielded four earned runs over seven innings in his second start since being called up from Triple-A Buffalo on Aug.
13. One of four players acquired July 7 in the trade that sent CC Sabathia to the
, Jackson walked one and struck out four.
Notes: The Royals called up LHP
from Triple-A Omaha when Hochevar went on the DL. ... Gordon returned to the Royals lineup after missing Tuesday's game with
a stiff back. He went 1-for-4 and made a throwing error. ... Buck went 1-for-2 and is in a 3-for-44 skid since Aug. 3. ...
Peralta joined Woody Held (1959-61) as the only shortstops in Indians history to hit 20 or more homers in three seasons. Peralta
also did it in 2005 and 2007. ... It was Shoppach's second multihomer game of the season and career.