CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians traded for outfielder Brandon Guyer for his ability to hit in clutch situations, and that is exactly what he did for the ball club in the bottom of the ninth inning on Tuesday night.
Down in the count, 1-2, against relief pitcher Joakim Soria, Guyer delivered an RBI double to deep right field that drove in fellow pinch hitter Coco Crisp and gave the Indians a 2-1 win over the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field.
With the win over the Royals (77-74), the Indians (87-63) completed their Major League-leading 11th walk-off victory of the season, which dropped the magic number to clinch the American League Central Division championship to six with 12 games remaining in the regular season.
Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez started the bottom of the ninth with a walk and moved over to second base when Crisp dropped a bunt down along the first-base line. Crisp reached safely on an error when pitcher Brian Flynn failed to complete a throw over to first base.
Left fielder Abraham Almonte attempted to move Ramirez over to third base with another bunt, but Kansas City’s Gold Glove catcher, Salvador Perez, picked the ball cleanly and fired down to third base for the first out of the inning.
Then, after Kansas City when to Soria, Cleveland pinch hitter Rajai Davis smashed an 0-1 pitch up the middle. But before it could break through to the outfield, Soria got his foot in the path of the ball, and it ricocheted right to Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer for the next out.
However, Guyer calmly fought off a 1-1 pitch and lifted the game-winning double down the line in right field. The ball landed in fair territory just out of the reach of Royals outfielder Paulo Orlando.
The Indians’ only other run of the game came on Carlos Santana’s 33rd home run of the season off of Kansas City starter Edinson Volquez with one out in the bottom of the third inning.
Indians starter Josh Tomlin allowed just five hits, no walks and only one earned run over 6.2 innings of work.
After striking out three batters over 1.2 innings of work against the Royals, Cleveland reliever Andrew Miller picked up the win, his ninth of the season and third since joining the Indians following a late-July trade from the New York Yankees.