" Goat: C.C Sabathia fell to 12-4 after allowing six runs and 11 hits in seven innings. He struck out six and walked two in his second straight loss.
" No free pass: Royals shortstop Tony Pena Jr. hasn't drawn a walk in his last 212 plate appearances.
" Quotable: "I was just missing over the plate a lot. I threw some down the middle. They definitely came out with a plan to swing early. Maybe I was throwing too many strikes." -- Sabathia
-- ESPN.com news services
Royals 6, Indians 5
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Even though his team led 5-0 in the third inning, Kansas City manager Buddy Bell knew Saturday night's game against the Cleveland Indians was far from over.
As it turned out, Bell was right. The Royals needed a late run and some strong work from their bullpen to hang on for a 6-5 win.
"Against this team, no lead feels safe," he said. "This is a really, really good team. It was a nice win."
Billy Butler, who had three hits, drove in two runs with a first-inning single and Emil Brown hit a three-run homer in the third as the Royals built their early lead off ace C.C. Sabathia. Kansas City used four relievers with Octavio Dotel pitching the ninth for his ninth save in 12 chances.
"They did a great job," said Meche. "I almost gave up the lead, but they kept it right there."
Mark Teahen had three hits and scored three runs for the Royals.
Kansas City jumped on Sabathia (12-4) from the start. The left-hander allowed six runs and 11 hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking two in his second straight loss.
"I think that's what you have to do against guys like that," Bell said. "If you can get him early, things are looking pretty good."
Singles by Mark Grudzielanek and Teahen started the Royals' rally in the first. Both runners scored on Butler's double to right-center.
In the third, Teahen doubled with one out and took third on Butler's infield hit. Brown homered to right on the first pitch to make it 5-0.
"I was just missing over the plate a lot," Sabathia said. "I threw some down the middle. They definitely came out with a plan to swing early. Maybe I was throwing too many strikes."
Brown's home run appeared to be a fly ball out to deep right, but it kept carrying and just cleared the wall.
"The ball Brown hit, off the bat, I didn't think it would go, but it did," Sabathia said.
Said Brown: "I'll take it."
Sabathia has allowed has allowed 13 runs and 21 hits in 11 innings over his last two starts.
"They were real aggressive against C.C," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "Obviously that was their game plan, but our guys did a great job of fighting back, as they always do."
The Indians scored in the fourth. After Jhonny Peralta drew a two-out walk, Meche was hit by Garko's smash back to the mound and the ball rolled behind second base for a single. Bell and a team trainer visited Meche, but he stayed in the game. Trot Nixon followed with an RBI single.
"It hit off the back of my triceps," Meche said. "It came back so fast. I was just trying to duck and get out of the way."
Martinez's one-out single in the fifth scored Sizemore, who had doubled.
Peralta led off the sixth with a single and scored on Garko's homer.
Both starting pitchers were on the American League All-Star team for Tuesday night's game in San Francisco. Sabathia pitched a scoreless inning and Meche did not appear in the game. ... Garko was ejected in the bottom of the eighth by home plate umpire Mark Carlson for arguing after he struck out. ... Sabathia came into the game with a 12-6 career record against Kansas City. ... Meche entered the game with a 1-6 career record in nine appearances against Cleveland. ... Hafner was 0-for-3, snapping his 11-game hitting streak. ... Royals SS Tony Pena Jr. hasn't drawn a walk in his last 212 plate appearances.