What is it about Shin-Soo Choo that makes pitchers think they can use him for target practice?

We might never know, but the apparent inescapable urge to throw at him created another near melee early in the Indians' 11-9, 10-inning win over the Royals Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Choo got even the only way that really counts: He doubled with two out in the 10th inning to score Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley with the winning runs.

"You're always trying to win the game,'' he said. "The way things were early in the game, we had to win it.''

Added manager Manny Acta, "Choo is still trying to find his rhythm, but he took some decent swings tonight. He's always done well in this park, and it's nice he got the winning hit.''

The victory turned out to be a grindingly arduous task, even though the Tribe held leads of 5-0 and 9-2 by the middle of the fifth inning. But by the end of the eighth, Kansas City had dug its way out of the hole and into a 9-9 tie.

Who knows what might have happened if starter Jeanmar Gomez had been able to stay in the game? Unfortunately for the Indians, he got himself kicked out.

That was part of a two-part episode began with a little irony. Choo missed almost seven weeks after a pitch by Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez fractured his left thumb on June 24 of last year. Over the winter, Sanchez was traded to the Royals, and he started Saturday night.