KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Terry Francona likened the atmosphere at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday to a playoff game in October. The crowd was into it. Every pitch mattered.
The Indians manager is hopeful the outcome will propel his team into the actual playoffs.
Asdrubal Cabrera drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, and Cleveland rallied off the stingy Kansas City Royals bullpen for a 5-3 victory Tuesday night that evened their series.
The win allowed the Indians to remain a half-game back of Texas and Tampa Bay in the AL wild-card race. The Royals are 31/2 games adrift after the Rangers beat the Rays earlier in the night.
"That was a fun game to be part of, two teams that really want to win bad were competing a lot," Francona said. "We did enough to win."
The Indians were shut out until the sixth by Yordano Ventura, who made an electric major league debut. They tied the game 3-all in the seventh off reliever Kelvin Herrera, and Cabrera's double off Wade Davis (7-11) in the eighth scored Drew Stubbs and gave Cleveland the lead.
Michael Bourn added a homer in the ninth to provide a cushion.
"It's not always going to be pretty but we have to find a way to get it done," said Nick Swisher, whose sacrifice fly in the seventh tied it. "We have a scrappy group in here, and we're not done. We're going to keep pushing because we want this. We want it bad."
Cody Allen (6-1) was among six Indians relievers who kept Kansas City off the scoreboard the final 41/3 innings. Chris Perez handled a perfect ninth for his 25th save.
"It happens sometimes," Royals catcher Salvador Perez said of the collapse. "We have to keep going, keep playing hard through the last day of the season."
Ventura had already been saddled with the nickname "Ace" before Monday night, but in the first inning he looked more like a different film character: Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn.
He erratically walked Bourn on four pitches to lead off the game, and earned a roar when he finally threw a strike to Nick Swisher. The roar grew when Ventura got him to ground into a double play, and reached a crescendo when he struck out Jason Kipnis to end the inning.
The 22-year-old flame-thrower settled in after that, mixing his curveball and changeup with straight gas that touched 101 mph on the radar gun at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals gave him a lead on Hosmer's double in the first inning. They added two more in the third, thanks in large part to Emilio Bonifacio getting into the head of starter Corey Kluber.
After a single, Bonifacio swiped second even as Kluber tried to pick him off. Bonifacio kept dancing around second base, and the Indians right-hander proceeded to walk Hosmer and Billy Butler to load up the bases. Salvador Perez's sacrifice fly and Mike Moustakas's double made it 3-0.
The Indians finally started to rally in the sixth. Swisher's single and a pair of two-out singles by Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley made it 3-1 and drove Ventura from the game -- he received a standing ovation. Cabrera walked to load the bases before Ryan Raburn struck out.
It may have been a wasted opportunity, but Cleveland atoned for it the next inning.
Yan Gomes was plunked in the back by Herrera, and then Bourn ripped an RBI triple into the gap. Swisher followed with a sacrifice fly to left field that knotted the game 3-all.
"The hit batsman was crucial at that point with Bourn coming up and hitting a triple right behind it," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Those are things late in the season in games of this magnitude you really want to try to stay away from."
Those are the things that set the stage for Cabrera to finish off the comeback.
"Tonight was one of the more gratifying wins," Francona said. "We kept fighting, and that's a good feeling to be part of that, and watch those guys do that."
RANGERS 7, RAYS 1
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus homered and drove in three runs each and the Texas Rangers snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 7-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
ORIOLES 3, RED SOX 2
BOSTON -- Danny Valencia tripled to stop closer Koji Uehara's streak of 37 consecutive outs and pinch-runner Alexi Casilla scored on Matt Wieters' sacrifice fly in the ninth inning to lift Baltimore over Boston.
TIGERS 6, MARINERS 2
DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera homered, Austin Jackson hit a two-run single and Detroit held off Seattle despite a short-handed bullpen.
The AL Central-leading Tigers were ahead 3-2 when they escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth while playing without closer Joaquin Benoit and left-handed reliever Drew Smyly. They were both given the night off.
Anibal Sanchez struck out 10 in 61/3 innings, but the Mariners tied it at 2 against him in the seventh, forcing Detroit's relievers into action.
Al Alburquerque (3-3) got out of the seventh, and Phil Coke and Jose Alvarez made it through a dodgy eighth. Alvarez got two outs in the ninth, and Jose Veras finished.
Yoervis Medina (4-6) took the loss.
BLUE JAYS 2, YANKEES 0
TORONTO -- R.A. Dickey pitched seven innings to win his fourth straight decision, Colby Rasmus and Rajai Davis homered and Toronto handed slumping New York its fourth straight loss.
ATHLETICS 2, ANGELS 1
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Josh Donaldson hit a game-winning, bases-loaded single with two outs in the ninth inning and Oakland beat Los Angeles to decrease its magic number to clinch another AL West title to six.
REDS 10, ASTROS 0
HOUSTON -- Jay Bruce hit a grand slam and had five RBIs, Mike Leake pitched eight scoreless innings and Cincinnati handed Houston its 100th loss.
Cincinnati is 41/2 games ahead of Washington for second NL wild card and 11/2 back of Pittsburgh for the first wild card.
The Astros are the first major league team to lose at least 100 games in three straight seasons since Kansas City from 2004-06.
The Reds got to work early, with Zack Cozart driving in two runs in a four-run first inning.
Cincinnati was up by five in the fourth before Bruce's towering slam to the Crawford Boxes in left field pushed the lead to 9-0 and chased Jordan Lyles (7-8).
Leake (14-6) allowed five hits over eight innings and struck out six with two walks.
NATIONALS 4, BRAVES 0
NATIONALS 6, BRAVES 5
WASHINGTON -- Tanner Roark threw seven shutout innings, and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 4-0 to sweep a day-night doubleheader Tuesday, ensuring the Braves leave Washington without the NL East title.
Roark (7-0) allowed just two hits, struck out six and retired the final 13 batters he faced.
Ryan Zimmerman hit a home run, Ian Desmond an RBI double and Adam LaRoche an RBI single in the eighth inning. Steve Lomardozzi had a second-inning RBI single off Freddy Garcia (1-2).
Washington entered the nightcap, which followed the Nationals' 6-5 win in the makeup of a series opener postponed by a shooting rampage a day earlier at the nearby Navy Yard, within 41/2 games of Cincinnati for the wild card.
CARDINALS 11, ROCKIES 4
DENVER -- Matt Holliday had four hits, including a two-run homer, to help St. Louis take over sole possession of the NL Central lead.
The Cardinals entered the night tied with Pittsburgh, which lost 5-2 at home to San Diego. St. Louis reduced its magic number for clinching a playoff spot to five with 11 games remaining.
PADRES 5, PIRATES 2
PITTSBURGH -- Jedd Gyorko blasted a three-run homer among his three hits for San Diego.
Ronny Cedeno added three hits for San Diego, which beat the Pirates for the second straight game and dropped Pittsburgh one game behind St. Louis in the NL Central. The Cardinals beat the Rockies 11-4.
DODGERS 9, DIAMONDBACKS 3
PHOENIX -- Juan Uribe and Adrian Gonzalez homered and Zack Greinke pitched six strong innings as Los Angeles inched closer to clinching the NL West title.
PHILLIES 6, MARLINS 4
PHILADELPHIA -- Chase Utley hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs and Roy Halladay tossed six effective innings for Philadelphia.
GIANTS 8, METS 5
NEW YORK -- San Francisco's Angel Pagan homered, tripled and drove in three runs on a perfect night at the plate against his former team.
BREWERS 4, CUBS 3
MILWAUKEE -- Pinch-hitter Logan Schafer dropped a suicide squeeze bunt with the bases loaded in the ninth to give Milwaukee the win.