Kyle Isbel and Maikel Garcia hit back-to-back triples to start a sixth-inning rally, and Vinnie Pasquantino delivered the go-ahead sacrifice fly that sent the Kansas City Royals to a 2-1 win over the AL Central-leading Cleveland Guardians on Thursday night.

Sam Long (2-1) earned the win in relief, wiggling his way out of Michael Wacha‘s jam in the sixth and then retiring the side in the seventh. John Schreiber handled the eighth before James McArthur worked a perfect ninth for his 14th save.

Kansas City is eight games behind Cleveland but can make up some ground during this four-game series.

“There’s some expectations in this division right now,” Long said. “We’re right there with them.”

Ben Lively (7-4) got some help against one of his former teams from a Cleveland defense that turned a pair of double plays to wipe away leadoff singles. The right-hander wound up allowing two runs on six hits and a walk over six innings.

“He was outstanding. Just attacking the zone, efficient with his pitches. Unfortunate there in the sixth, but still got through six,” Guardians manager Stephen Vogt said. “I thought he was great.”