Kansas City at Cleveland

Scoreboard
Kansas City0000100001111
Cleveland «00030070x10111

Fading Indians drop 10-spot on lowly Royals

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CLEVELAND -- Aaron Boone isn't ready to give up on his first season with the Cleveland Indians.

"As bad as we've been playing, and as frustrating as it has been for all of us, we're right there," Boone said.

The Indians kept from falling further back in the AL wild-card race Thursday, as Jake Westbrook dodged danger for seven innings and Jhonny Peralta and Victor Martinez each hit three-run homers in a 10-1 win over the Kansas City Royals.

Cleveland, which was 10 games over .500 on July 4 and in the thick of the playoff race, improved to just 3-11 since by salvaging a four-game series split against one of the AL's worst teams.

Boone hopes the win reverses the losing trend for the Indians, who have been up and down since April.

"We've been getting beat like a drum for a while," said Boone, who after a rough first two months is batting .302 (42-for-134) since June 4. "Hopefully, this gets us going and gets us playing like I know we can."

Realistically, the Indians probably won't catch Chicago in the AL Central, but they're among five or six teams that could make the wild card fun.

Westbrook (7-12) didn't allow an earned run, scattered nine hits and worked out of several jams, only once retiring the Royals in order. He walked none and struck out five after entering 0-3 with a 6.57 ERA this month.

Cleveland's lineup hasn't produced for Westbrook or any other starter lately, and while protecting a slim lead, the right-hander was forced into damage control. The Royals had at least two runners on and less than two outs three times, but Westbrook got the key groundout or strikeout every time.

"He pitched through some tough innings," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "He has a strong intensity about him that may not show from the outside but it's in there, believe me."

Peralta homered in the fourth off J.P. Howell (1-4) and Martinez capped Cleveland's seven-run seventh -- the club's biggest inning since June 25 -- with a shot off Leo Nunez.

Casey Blake added a solo homer for the Indians, who have been shut out three times since the All-Star break and hadn't scored more than six runs since July 9.

"We haven't been scoring at all," Ronnie Belliard said. "We needed this."

Blake homered just inside the left-field foul pole to open the seventh off Howell, who gave up four runs and five hits in six-plus innings.

The Indians added three more runs on Boone's two-run single and Coco Crisp's RBI single before Martinez homered into the right-field seats.

Peralta, recently moved up in the order after batting mostly ninth, put the Indians up 3-0 with his two-out homer in the fourth. Martinez singled with one out and chugged into third on a double by Jose Hernandez.

Blake couldn't bring Martinez home with a fly to left, but Peralta followed with his shot onto the pedestrian patio in left.

"My thought process was right, I just didn't execute," Howell said. "It's my fault. I threw him a splitter and wanted to bury it so he would hit a groundball. But I left it up."

The Royals got an unearned run back off Westbrook in the fifth. Blake kicked around Ruben Gotay's double into the right-field corner for an error and Albert Castillo's groundout brought home the Royals' only run.

Kansas City had two on and none out in the sixth, but Westbrook escaped by retiring Matt Stairs on a flyout and inducing Emil Brown to hit into a double play.

Westbrook somehow got out of the first without giving up a run. He gave up two singles and watched the Indians botch a rundown but bounced back by striking out Mike Sweeney, throwing home to catch a runner at the plate and fanning Brown.

"I was able to battle out of it," Westbrook said. "I could have pitched better - I gave up nine hits. But I got outs when I needed them."

Notes

  • Indians DH Travis Hafner missed his fifth straight game with lingering effects from a concussion. He hasn't played since he was struck in the face with a pitch by Chicago's Mark Buehrlelast weekend. He's feeling better, but Hafner still gets dizzy exercising.
  • The debut of OF Chip Ambres on Wednesday was the 10th by a Royals rookie this season, two shy of the club record (2002).
  • Royals OF Davis DeJesus is batting .396 (19-for-48) during his 12-game hitting streak.
  • Indians OF Jason Dubois is 1-for-11 with five strikeouts since coming over in a trade with the Chicago Cubs.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Jhonny Peralta is met at home by teammates after crushing a three-run homer in the fourth inning.  (AP)
Jhonny Peralta is met at home by teammates after crushing a three-run homer in the fourth inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

V. Martinez
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Cleveland

J. Westbrook
IP 7.0
H 9
ER 0
BB 0
K 5
 

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Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, CF4010002 .297
    Joe McEwing, LF1000003 .263
Terrence Long, LF3030000 .275
   a- Chip Ambres, PH-CF1000000 .400
Mike Sweeney, DH4010013 .305
Matt Stairs, 1B4000003 .254
Emil Brown, RF4010013 .292
Mark Teahen, 3B4010031 .254
Angel Berroa, SS2010000 .262
    Donnie Murphy, SS0000100 .500
Ruben Gotay, 2B4120003 .244
Alberto Castillo, C4011013 .213
Totals3511111621 
a-flied out for Long in the 8th
Batting
2B - Emil Brown (17, Cabrera), Ruben Gotay (13, Westbrook)
SH - Angel Berroa (8)
RBI - Alberto Castillo (14)
CS - Terrence Long (3, 2nd base by Westbrook/Martinez)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Donnie Murphy (1, Misplayed grounder)
Kansas City Royals
J.P. Howell (L,1-4) 6544062 7.68
Leo Nunez 1566031 7.75
Andy Sisco 1100130 2.60
HBP - Peralta (by Leo Nunez)
Pitches-Strikes - J.P. Howell 76-56, Leo Nunez 37-24, Andy Sisco 28-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J.P. Howell 9-3, Andy Sisco 1-0
Batters Faced - J.P. Howell 23, Leo Nunez 9, Andy Sisco 6
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF5110010 .283
Coco Crisp, LF5111013 .293
Victor Martinez, C4223000 .248
Jose Hernandez, 1B4110020 .252
Casey Blake, RF4121012 .229
Jhonny Peralta, SS2213111 .294
Ron Belliard, 2B4110022 .275
Jason Dubois, DH4000033 .229
Aaron Boone, 3B4122010 .225
Totals3610111011211 
Batting
2B - Jose Hernandez (6, Howell), Casey Blake (15, Howell), Ron Belliard (16, Nunez)
HR - Victor Martinez (10, Nunez), Casey Blake (11, Howell), Jhonny Peralta (12, Howell)
RBI - Coco Crisp (36), Victor Martinez 3 (38), Casey Blake (30), Jhonny Peralta 3 (38), Aaron Boone 2 (36)
2-OUT RBI - Jhonny Peralta 3 (22)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Belliard-Peralta-Hernandez
E - Casey Blake (5, Misplayed grounder)
Cleveland Indians
Jake Westbrook (W,7-12) 7910050 4.51
Arthur Rhodes 1000000 2.27
Fernando Cabrera 1200110 2.57
Pitches-Strikes - Jake Westbrook 89-55, Arthur Rhodes 12-8, Fernando Cabrera 21-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Westbrook 11-3
Batters Faced - Jake Westbrook 28, Arthur Rhodes 3, Fernando Cabrera 6
Game Information
Attendance - 24694
Game Time - 2:28
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - Ed Hickox, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Brian O'Nora