CLEVELAND (AP) — Asdrubal Cabrera hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning to lift Cleveland to an 8-7 comeback win over the Kansas City Royals after the Indians’ Jim Thome hit a solo shot for his 602nd career homer.
Cabrera connected on a 1-1 pitch from Louis Coleman (1-4) to give the Indians their 21st last-at-bat win and 32nd comeback triumph overall.
Joe Smith (3-3) got the final out in the eighth for the win and Chris Perez pitched the ninth for his 29th save in 33 chances. Perez threw out a runner trying to go to third on a sacrifice bunt, then fanned two Royals to strand a runner at second.
Thome celebrated his 41st birthday with a solo homer in the sixth in his second game back in Cleveland to tie it at 4.
Then Alex Gordon, who had three hits, belted a three-run homer in the seventh off reliever Tony Sipp to put the Royals ahead 7-4. Sipp replaced Fausto Carmona (6-13) with runners on first and third in a lefty-against-lefty matchup, but yielded Gordon’s 18th homer of the season.
Cabrera’s RBI single pulled Cleveland to 7-5 in the seventh.
In the eighth, pinch-hitter Lonnie Chisenhall singled with two outs and Kosuke Fukudome walked. Cabrera followed with his 21st homer into the right-field seats.
Thome got a rousing standing ovation as he slowly rounded the bases with his 335th homer in a Cleveland uniform, a line shot into the seats in left-center that extended his club record. The crowd kept cheering until Thome came out for a curtain call in a scene reminiscent of the slugger’s glory days in Cleveland from 1991 until leaving as a free agent following the 2002 season.
It was Thome’s first homer for Cleveland since Sept. 28, 2002, off the Royals’ Jeremy Affeldt. That was his 52nd homer that year, still the Indians’ single-season record.
Thome needs seven homers to tie Sammy Sosa for seventh on the all-time list.
Thome struck out against lefty reliever Tim Collins with runners on second and third in the seventh. As he flailed at strike three, he lost the bat, which sailed into the stands and was proudly held aloft by a fan, who also got an ovation for his souvenir. Thome is 1 for 4 with three strikeouts off the rookie.
Kansas City scored three runs with two outs in the third off Carmona to go ahead 3-1. Mike Moustakas had a two-run double after Eric Hosmer singled home the tying run.
Jack Hannahan had three RBIs for Cleveland. His two-out single in the second off Royals starter Danny Duffy made it 1-0. He tied it at 3 with a two-out, two-run triple in the fourth.
Melky Cabrera put Kansas City ahead 4-3 with an RBI double in the fifth, though Gordon was out trying to score from first. Duncan’s strong throw from the left-field corner to Hannahan and the third baseman’s accurate relay to Lou Marson gave the catcher a chance to make a play. Marson blocked the plate and made a sweeping tag as Gordon tried to go around him.
Duffy struck out seven over 5 1-3 innings, allowing four runs and six hits.
Carmona allowed five earned runs and eight hits over 6 1-3 innings.
NOTES — Gordon was in a 2-for-15 slump with nine strikeouts until going 3 for 4 with a walk. Gordon is hitting .484 (15 for 31) off Carmona overall. ... Indians OF Shin-Soo Choo left in the fifth after aggravating his sore left side. He had missed two games with the injury and went 0 for 2 before being replaced by pinch-hitter Ezequiel Carrera. ... Indians RHP Josh Tomlin said he is confident he will pitch again this year. Tomlin went on the disabled list for the first time Friday with a sprained right elbow. ... OF Grady Sizemore, out since July 18 after abdominal surgery, took batting practice and fielded fungoes, but the Indians have no timetable for his return. ... Former Indians LHPs Greg Swindell and Scott Bailes greeted fans as part of the team’s ambassador alumni program. ... Royals LHP Bruce Chen (9-5) will oppose RHP Justin Masterson (10-7) in the series finale Sunday. Chen has won a career-high four straight. He’s 11-4 against the AL Central the past two years and 4-0 against Cleveland since joining Kansas City in 2009.