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Indians' Mejia hits grand slam; Salazar fans 6

Special to MLB.com @MLBastian

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- What started as a rare Cactus League pitchers' duel ended in a slugfest on Saturday as the Indians and Royals traded long balls in a 10-run seventh inning. Cleveland prospect Francisco Mejia broke it open with a seventh-inning grand slam to lead the Indians to a 7-6 victory.

Oddly, the only run in the first six innings came with a bases-loaded walk to Kansas City's Whit Merrifield. Both teams opened up the offensive floodgates in the seventh, with the Royals sparking the onslaught with a three-run homer from designated hitter Brandon Moss.

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GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- What started as a rare Cactus League pitchers' duel ended in a slugfest on Saturday as the Indians and Royals traded long balls in a 10-run seventh inning. Cleveland prospect Francisco Mejia broke it open with a seventh-inning grand slam to lead the Indians to a 7-6 victory.

Oddly, the only run in the first six innings came with a bases-loaded walk to Kansas City's Whit Merrifield. Both teams opened up the offensive floodgates in the seventh, with the Royals sparking the onslaught with a three-run homer from designated hitter Brandon Moss.

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Cleveland starter Danny Salazar was strong for four innings, striking out six while allowing two hits and a walk. In his previous three starts, Salazar pitched a total of 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on four hits and eight walks while striking out eight. Command was high on his priority list as he toed the rubber against the Royals.

Royals left-hander Jason Vargas, likely the No. 3 or No. 4 starter, worked through three scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, walked three and struck out three. He threw 54 pitches, 30 for strikes.

Video: KC@CLE: Shaffer skies a two-run homer to right field

"I thought Vargy really pitched well," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "And it was nice to see Brandon Moss get that first homer. And a nice little rally in the ninth."

Both teams unleashed their pent-up offense in the seventh, with Moss's three-run shot off reliever Bryan Shaw giving the Royals a 4-0 lead.

Video: KC@CLE: Naquin lines double, Almonte scores on error

The Tribe jumped right back into it, with Abraham Almonte sparking a rally with a leadoff single to short. He scored on a Tyler Naquin double and a throwing error from right fielder Hunter Dozier. Richie Shaffer launched his second spring dinger to make it a 4-3 game. Bobby Parnell walked three men to load the bases with two outs, and Chris Withrow entered the situation for the game's key at bat, yielding a towering fly to right that just cleared the fence for Mejia's first round-tripper of the spring.

"It was a good at-bat," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Mejia's slam. "Nobody's going to remember that in October, but it was fun to watch. He fouled off a few pitches, one was over his head, one was at his shoes. He broke a bat. He put together a pretty good at-bat. It was fun to watch us put up a crooked number like that -- I don't care who's in the game."

Video: KC@CLE: Cecchini lines an RBI double to right field

The Royals staged a late rally in the ninth inning, scoring two runs. With one out Cheslor Cuthbert doubled on a line drive to left field. Pinch-hitter Garin Cecchini doubled on a line drive to right field to score Cuthbert, and Billy Burns singled to bring in Cecchini. Burns stole second and went to third on a wild pitch, but Indians relieverZach McAllister struck out Dozier and Peter O'Brien to end the game.

One of Cleveland's top prospects, second baseman Mark Mathias, left the game with a dislocated left shoulder in the top of the ninth inning when he dove for Burns' grounder to second.

Royals Up Next: Right-hander Nathan Karns will make his third start this spring for the Royals as they take on the Dodgers in a 3:05 p.m., CDT start live on MLB.TV at Surprise Stadium. Karns, who is battling for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, will be opposed by left-hander Clayton Kershaw.

Indians Up Next: Corey Kluber takes the mound in Peoria on Sunday as the Indians face the Padres in a 4:05 ET match live on MLB.TV. The likely Opening Day starter is making his second spring start, and is penciled in for four innings. Kluber lost to the Brewers on March 6 in his spring debut, allowing six runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out four.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Indians on Saturday.