After a disappointing loss on Monday night against the Indians, the Royals surged back with a 6-3 victory on Tuesday to keep their postseason hopes alive.
"It's never fun when you lose," manager Ned Yost said of Monday night's loss. "It's fun that the game meant something and that it was played with so much intensity and so much excitement. That part was fun."
Tuesday was even more fun for the Royals, who gained back a game on the Indians. Second-place Cleveland holds a 1 1/2 game lead in the American League Central and the Wild Card race on Kansas City. Both teams are chasing the Tigers in the AL Central and the Rays and Rangers for a Wild Card spot.
The Royals will send their ace James Shields to the mound on Wednesday looking to make up a little more ground in the rubber match. He'll be opposed by Scott Kazmir, who is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA against the Royals this season.
It hasn't been an easy season for the Royals, who have posted four winning months despite a dismal 5-20 record in May. For the first time in a decade, they're in postseason contention in September.
"Everything that you go through is important -- the good streaks, the bad streaks -- if you learn from them," Yost said. "At this level, it takes time for young clubs to gel, create an identity, get these experiences so they know how to deal with them, so they're all -- I mean you hate going though them -- but they're all good experiences to help you become a better player and help you become a better team."
Progressive Field has been a problem for the Royals, who've won just two of their eight games there this year. They trail the Indians 6-9 in the season series.
On Wednesday, MLB and all 30 clubs will commemorate the 12th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, with patriotic on-field tributes at all 15 games. Major James Ruzicka will throw out the first pitch in Cleveland. Ruzicka is serving his second consecutive year in Afghanistan.
Royals: Gordon hits 100th homer
On Monday night, Royals left fielder Alex Gordon knocked his 100th career homer.
He became the 13th player in franchise history with 100 homers. Gordon leads the team with 18 this season, and is the second player on the team with 100 homers -- joining Billy Butler, who has 117.
Gordon, who made his first All-Star team this year, has 48 multihit games this season and has hit safely in each of his last six games, going 10-for-27 (.370) with two homers and five RBIs in that span.
Indians: Santana would like to catch more
Carlos Santana would prefer to be the Indians' regular starting catcher, but that role has been taken over by Yan Gomes, with Santana spending much of his time at designated hitter and first base.
"This is a little hard for me, or for any player," Santana said. "For me, I want to win. The manager put Yan behind the plate and he's done a good job, so we're better hitting and catching, too. It's hard for me, but I'm not thinking about that. I'm confident in the manager about the lineup he puts out every day."
• Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar hit his first home run since April 28 on Tuesday.
• Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco was away from the ballclub on Tuesday in order to attend to a personal matter. Manager Terry Francona indicated that the long reliever will likely rejoin the team in Chicago at some point during the club's upcoming four-game series, which begins Thursday.
Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.