Kyle Isbel hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning that scored Adam Frazier and the Kansas City Royals beat the AL Central-leading Cleveland Guardians 4-3 on Thursday.

Frazier doubled off Hunter Gaddis (3-2) with two outs and Isbel followed with a liner to right, giving Kansas City a split of the two-game series. The clubs were rained out on Wednesday.

The Royals pulled within four games of Cleveland in the division, winning for the third time in 10 games since May 25. Sam Long (1-1) pitched a scoreless seventh and James McArthur picked up his 12th save in 16 chances.

José Ramírez hit a solo homer and drove in two runs for the Guardians, who have the third-best record in baseball at 40-21, trailing the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees. Cleveland entered the day an MLB-best 21-7 at home.

Isbel was in the lineup for the first time since Sunday, when he sustained a head injury in a collision with teammate Bobby Witt Jr. against San Diego. He also is recovering from small facial fractures after fouling a ball off his face at Tampa Bay on May 25.

Ramírez, who leads the majors with 60 RBIs, gave the Guardians a 2-1 lead in the third with a 422-foot blast into the right-field stands. He also singled home Steven Kwan in the fourth to make it 3-1, chasing Royals starter Brady Singer.

Kansas City scored twice in the sixth to tie it at 3. Hunter Renfroe doubled in Freddy Fermin, and then MJ Melendez jumped over the attempted tag of Guardians catcher Bo Naylor and touched home on Isbel’s grounder.

Ramírez homered for the eighth time in 20 games and has 50 RBIs in his last 46 contests.

Guardians starter Tanner Bibee struck out seven in five innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits. Singer had his shortest outing of 2024, going 3 2/3 innings and giving up two earned runs.

Both teams scored unearned runs in the first. Royals leadoff hitter Maikel Garcia reached on a miscue by Gold Glove second baseman Andrés Giménez and scored on Vinnie Pasquantino’s double. For Cleveland, Kwan singled and scored on a Josh Naylor grounder.


Royals: 2B Michael Massey (low back ligament strain), who was placed on the 10-day injured list on May 26, will be re-assessed Friday in Kansas City. “He felt a little better yesterday, so we’ll see when he can start working toward some baseball activities,” manager Matt Quatraro said.

Guardians: RHP Eli Morgan (right elbow inflammation) had a “small shutdown, but is going to start his throwing progression again,” according to manager Stephen Vogt. Morgan has only appeared in one game between IL stays -- working 2 2/3 innings at Colorado on May 29 -- since April 17.


Royals: LHP Daniel Lynch IV (0-0, 1.50 ERA) faces Mariners RHP Bryce Miller (5-5, 3.18) as Kansas City begins a seven-game homestand Friday.

Guardians: LHP Logan Allen (6-3, 5.83 ERA) takes on Marlins LHP Ryan Weathers (3-5, 3.41 ERA) in the opener of a three-game road series Friday.