CLEVELAND (AP) Kyle Isbel delivered the go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning to score Adam Frazier, two innings after driving in the tying run, and the Kansas City Royals beat the AL Central-leading Cleveland Guardians 4-3 on Thursday.

Frazier doubled off Hunter Gaddis (3-2) with two outs in the eighth and Isbel followed with a liner to right, giving Kansas City a split of the two-game series. The clubs were rained out on Wednesday.

“I had a lot of opportunities today, late in the game with a chance to take the lead,” Isbel said. “I put a good swing on a ball and got a good pitch to hit.”

The Royals pulled within four games of Cleveland in the division, winning for the third time in 10 games since May 25. Sam Long (1-1) pitched the seventh and James McArthur picked up his 12th save as Kansas City’s bullpen pitched 5 1/3 hitless innings.

“We don’t win if they don’t put up the zeroes,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “The Guardians have gone through a lot of these games, too, and that’s why these teams are winning.”

José Ramírez hit a solo homer and drove in two runs for the Guardians, who have the third-best record in baseball at 40-21, trailing the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees. Cleveland entered the day an MLB-best 21-7 at home.

Isbel was in the lineup for the first time since Sunday, when he sustained a head injury in a collision with teammate Bobby Witt Jr. against San Diego. He also is recovering from small facial fractures after fouling a ball off his face at Tampa Bay on May 25.

“Some freak accidents,” Isbel said. “I don’t wish that upon anybody, but I’m feeling good.”

Kansas City scored twice in the sixth to tie it at 3. Hunter Renfroe doubled in Freddy Fermin, and MJ Melendez jumped over the attempted tag of Guardians catcher Bo Naylor and touched home on Isbel’s grounder. Home plate umpire Chris Conroy called Melendez out, but it was overturned on a replay challenge by the Royals.

“It was a tough play, just an unfortunate turn that didn’t go our way,” Cleveland manager Stephen Vogt said. “I haven’t seen the replay, but I’m sure they got it right.”

Ramírez, who leads the majors with 60 RBIs, gave the Guardians a 2-1 lead in the third with a 422-foot blast into the right-field stands. He also singled home Steven Kwan in the fourth to make it 3-1, chasing Royals starter Brady Singer.

“I think I’ve tried everything against (Ramírez) and he’s still gotten me,” Singer said. “He’s a real, real good hitter.”

Ramírez homered for the eighth time in 20 games and has 50 RBIs in his last 46 contests. He also moved past Manny Ramirez into eighth place in franchise history with 806 career RBIs.

Guardians starter Tanner Bibee struck out seven in five innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits. Singer went 3 2/3 innings and gave up two earned runs after missing his previous turn in the rotation with an illness.


Royals: 2B Michael Massey (low back ligament strain), who was placed on the 10-day injured list on May 26, will be re-assessed Friday in Kansas City.

Guardians: RHP Eli Morgan (right elbow inflammation) had a “small shutdown, but is going to start his throwing progression again,” according to Vogt.


Royals: LHP Daniel Lynch IV (0-0, 1.50 ERA) faces Mariners RHP Bryce Miller (5-5, 3.18) as Kansas City begins a seven-game homestand Friday.

Guardians: LHP Logan Allen (6-3, 5.83 ERA) takes on Marlins LHP Ryan Weathers (3-5, 3.41 ERA) in the opener of a three-game road series Friday.



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