Santana’s homer lifts Indians over Royals, closer to AL Central title

Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians rounds the bases after hitting a three run home run off Dillon Gee #53 of the Kansas City Royals during the sixth inning against the at Progressive Field on September 22, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians rounds the bases after hitting a three run home run off Dillon Gee #53 of the Kansas City Royals during the sixth inning against the at Progressive Field on September 22, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND– Carlos Santana’s three-run homer pushed the Cleveland Indians to a 5-2 win over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night and nearer to their first AL Central championship since 2007.

Santana’s shot in the sixth inning off Dillon Gee (7-9) snapped a 2-2 tie as the Indians improved to 9-1 against the Royals this season.

Kansas City’s chances of making the postseason took another blow. The defending World Series champions began the night behind six teams in the wild-card chase.

Reliever Dan Otero (5-1) pitched two scoreless innings, Bryan Shaw worked one and Cody Allen pitched a perfect ninth for his 29th save.

Jason Kipnis homered for the Indians, who can wrap up a postseason berth this weekend against the Chicago White Sox.

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Progressive Field