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Indians head home after 7-2 loss to Royals

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 18, 2013 at 11:57 pm •  Published: September 18, 2013

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Cleveland Indians missed an opportunity to gain ground in the playoff race.

Bruce Chen worked five innings and Salvador Perez doubled home two runs and the Kansas City Royals beat the Indians 7-2 on Wednesday night.

The Indians open a six-game homestand Thursday with the first four games against the Houston Astros, who have already lost 100 games.

Then they close the season with two home games against the Chicago White Sox and four at Minnesota. They trail Texas by a half-game for the second wild-card spot.

"It's not great, but they're a good team," first baseman Nick Swisher said after losing two of three at Kauffman Stadium. "We had a good road trip, 5-2. We'll take that every time and now we're going home.

"We're kind of playing against spoiler teams and that's what they're going to try to do to us, spoil it for us. We have to find that bottle of Red Bull energy."

Chen was pulled in the sixth after giving up a single to Michael Bourn and walking Swisher to lead off the inning.

"It's what he always does," Swisher said of Chen. "It was nothing special. He's one of those guys where you get yourself out. You get what you see from the guy."

Francisley Bueno replaced Chen and recorded two outs with three pitches.

After Jeff Kipnis advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt, Bueno kept the runners put when Carlos Santana grounded out to third baseman Mike Moustakas. Louis Coleman came in and retired Ryan Raburn on a fly to right to strand the runners.

"Down two, I thought we had a lot of opportunities." Swisher said. "We had chances. I think we can step it up and with the veteran leadership we have here, myself and Jason (Giambi) and Michael (Bourn), we can get into these guys' heads and take advantage of our opportunities."

Royals relievers Tim Collins, Will Smith and Greg Holland preserved the lead, allowing just one hit, to keep the team's playoff chances alive.

"We had chances," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Obviously if we cash in we go to different guys out of the pen."

The Royals broke the game open with three runs off four Indians pitchers in the eighth. Alcides Escobar had a two-run single, while Jarrod Dyson walked with the bases loaded.

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