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Major League Baseball
Kansas City 2, Cleveland 1
When: 8:05 PM ET, Monday, August 31, 2020
Where: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
Temperature: 77°
Umpires: Home - Paul Clemons, 1B - Alex Mackay, 2B - Jeremie Rehak, 3B - Ed Hickox

Back-to-back, run-scoring hits in the eighth inning allowed the host Kansas City Royals to defeat the Cleveland Indians 2-1 in the opener of a three-game series on Monday.

Maikel Franco drove in the tying run with a single, and Bubba Starling followed with the game-winning single.

Scott Barlow (2-1) picked up the win after throwing a scoreless eighth inning. Greg Holland earned his second save by pitching around a one-out double in the ninth.

James Karinchak (0-2) walked the first two batters he faced in the eighth, and they both came around to score. After a strikeout, Franco singled off Karinchak to level the score. Adam Cimber then replaced Karinchak, and Starling hit Cimber's fourth pitch to knock in the decisive run.

Brad Keller and Shane Bieber put on an old-fashioned pitchers' duel. Neither starting pitcher allowed a runner past second until Keller gave up Franmil Reyes' run-scoring double in the seventh inning.

Bieber pitched six scoreless innings, lowering his major-league-leading ERA to 1.20. He allowed just one hit while walking four and striking out nine. He also leads the majors with 84 strikeouts.

Keller gave up one run on three hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one.

Keller did not allow a run in his first three starts after starting the season on the injured list while recovering from COVID-19. He was roughed up in his last start at St. Louis on Aug. 24, allowing five runs on six hits in four innings, but he still had a 2.08 ERA entering Monday.

Through six innings, the starters had each allowed just one hit. Keller retired 11 in a row at one point.

The Indians finally scored off Keller in the seventh. With one out, Carlos Santana lined a single into center. Reyes then drove one to the wall in left-center, scoring Santana, and Keller's night was done.

The Royals threatened against two Cleveland relievers in the seventh, but Whit Merrifield hit a two-out line drive that Jordan Luplow caught over his shoulder.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Starting Pitchers
Cleveland   Kansas City
Shane Bieber Player Brad Keller
No Decision W/L No Decision
6.0 IP 6.1
9 Strikeouts 4
1 Hits 3
0.00 ERA 1.42
Cleveland   Kansas City
Franmil Reyes Player Maikel Franco
2 Hits 2
1 RBI 1
0 HR 0
4 TB 2
.500 Avg .500
Team Stats Summary
Team Hits HR TB Avg LOB K RBI BB SB Errors
Cleveland 6 0 8 .182 8 6 1 1 0 0
Kansas City 4 0 4 .143 22 13 2 6 0 0