Closer Vinnie Pestano was mad. He thought he'd blown the lead and that Kansas City tied the score Tuesday night in the ninth inning.

"I thought it was a new game," said Pestano.

It wasn't, as the Indians escaped with an improbable 4-3 victory over the Royals to regain second place in the AL Central by scoring three runs in their final at-bat and then having a baserunning error derail the red-hot Royals in the ninth inning.

"I had them right where I wanted them," said Pestano with a laugh. "Right up until they held the guy at third base. To be honest, I thought it was a new game."

Pestano, who earned his second save, entered the ninth with a 4-3 lead. He promptly gave up consecutive singles to David Lough and Mike Moustakas. Pestano struck out Chris Getz, but with Lough, who played at Green High School in suburban Akron, at second and Moustakas at first, Alcides Escobar singled to right field.

Lough was about 30 feet from scoring the tying run when third base coach Eddie Rodriguez stopped him. Lough stutter-stepped before heading back to third, which was already occupied by Moustakas, with Pestano in hot pursuit.

With two Royals at third, Pestano tagged out Moustakas for the second out because the base belonged to Lough. As he turned to walk toward the mound, Lough took his hands off third base. Pestano's teammates yelled for him to apply the tag, which he did a tad too late.