KANSAS CITY -- The Royals got an unexpected boost from their bench, which proved important in their 7-4 win over the Indians on Sunday to avoid a disastrous three-game sweep.Backups Jorge Bonifacio, Cam Gallagher and Cheslor Cuthbert went a combined 7-for-10 with four RBIs."The bottom of the order came through
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals got an unexpected boost from their bench, which proved important in their 7-4 win over the Indians on Sunday to avoid a disastrous three-game sweep.
Backups Jorge Bonifacio, Cam Gallagher and Cheslor Cuthbert went a combined 7-for-10 with four RBIs.
"The bottom of the order came through big for us," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We needed that."
Bonifacio got a rare start in right field and delivered three hits and scored two runs.
Cuthbert got the nod at third base as Mike Moustakas took the DH role, and tallied two hits, including his second homer of the year, and three RBIs.
Gallagher, whose start gave starting catcher Andrew Butera a day off, contributed two hits and an RBI.
It's certainly not easy to sit as much as those three have lately and be productive in an instant's notice.
"I just try to keep focused and keep working hard," Cuthbert said, "and I hope I have the opportunity to help the team win."
Cuthbert drilled an 0-2 pitch from Indians starter Danny Salazar over the left-field fence in the fourth inning, tying the score, 3-3.
"I was just looking to make contact and find a way to get on base and try to score runs," Cuthbert said.
Cuthbert then smacked a two-run single off reliever Zach McAllister in the fifth that gave the Royals some needed insurance with a 6-3 lead.
But Cuthbert's day didn't come without its issues, either.
Cuthbert made one throwing error and cost the Royals two runs in the third when he failed to snag Francisco Lindor's foul popup near the Indians dugout. Cuthbert was ready to catch it, then backed off and the ball fell between him and Gallagher. Moments later, Lindor hit a two-run homer.
Later in the game, on a foul popup near the visitor's batting circle, Cuthbert plowed into Gallagher, though Gallagher hung on for the catch.
"I think both of them I should try to be aggressive with," Cuthbert said, smiling. "I think the last one, [Gallagher] was making fun of how aggressive I was."
In the end, though, the Royals got a huge win against the American League Central leaders and pulled within 6 1/2 games.
"Every one of these games, it's a two-game swing," Yost said. "Best-case scenario was the sweep and you pick up three games and you're 2 1/2 out. Worst-case scenario is you get swept and you're 8 1/2 out. And the next-best scenario is to avoid the sweep. Instead of 8 1/2 back, we're 6 1/2 back."
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.