KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Jeff Liefer extended the Kansas City Royals' misery.
Liefer hit a grand slam in the seventh inning to help the Cleveland Indians beat Kansas City 4-2 on Thursday night for the Royals' franchise-record 13th straight loss.
The Royals broke the team record of 12 consecutive losses set in 1997.
"I didn't hit it great, but I knew that it was going to get the runner in from third and the runner at second was going to get on third," Liefer said.
"I knew I had done something well and I was hoping it would keep carrying, which it did. With runners on base, I try to be aggressive. The first pitch might be the best pitch to hit and I don't want to miss it."
The Indians, who have won 14 of their past 18, went 6-0 on a road trip for the first time since May 1-6, 2001. The Indians moved 11 games above .500 for the first time since Oct. 7, 2001, when they finished the season 91-71. They trail the Los Angeles Angels by 2½ games in the AL wild-card race.
Royals starter D.J. Carrasco (5-6) limited the Indians to two hits in the first six innings before running into trouble in the seventh. Travis Hafner led off with a walk, Victor Martinez singled, and Carrasco threw late to third on Ronnie Belliard's fielder's choice sacrifice bunt to load the bases.
Liefer hit Carrasco's next pitch out to right for his first home run since June 26, 2004, at Minnesota. It was Liefer's second career grand slam and second at Kauffman Stadium. His first was Sept. 2, 2003, off Jeremy Affeldt.
"It was a bad pitch," Carrasco said. "I left a cutter up. It was a mistake and he just put it over the right-field fence. It was just that one pitch and the guy killed it. I felt I left the team down. I know how much we needed that one. We've got to come to the park tomorrow expecting to win."
Grady Sizemore hit a grand slam on Wednesday in the Indians' 6-1 victory.
Royals manager Buddy Bell kept the clubhouse closed for 30 minutes after the loss.
"When they got the four runs, we can't stop playing," Bell said. "We've got to keep playing. The nature of the game is to keep going. I didn't think the focus was there at the end after they got the four runs. That can't happen. I'm kind of running out of answers."
Kevin Millwood (6-9) held the Royals to eight hits and two runs in seven innings. Millwood, making his first start since serving a five-game suspension for intentionally throwing at Seattle's Yuniesky Betancourt on July 29, struck out five and walked one.
"Millwood set the tone, keeping us in the ballgame" Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "He kept getting better as the game went along. He's at his best when his back is against the wall. He pitched out of a couple of jams."
Bob Wickman worked the ninth for his league-leading 32nd save in 37 opportunities.
Chip Ambres and Terrence Long had RBI singles in the third for Kansas City. David DeJesus led off the fifth with a double and Emil Brown opened the fifth with a triple, but Millwood did not allow either to score. The Royals went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
"It seemed like every inning somebody was starting on second and third," Millwood said. "I got some help, getting guys to swing at bad pitches, but it's not a situation you want to be in. But it definitely gives you a lift when you get out of it.
"In the inning when they got the two runs, I was just leaving balls over the middle of the plate. Everything they hit found a hole. It was one of those innings when I was glad it was finally over. When you take the lead, you want to try to the other team down right away."
Carrasco allowed four runs on five hits, walked two and struck out three in 6 2/3 innings.
|Players of the Game|
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|Grady Sizemore, CF||5||0||1||0||0||0||2||.288|
|Coco Crisp, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.293|
|Jhonny Peralta, SS||3||0||0||0||1||2||0||.301|
|Travis Hafner, DH||3||1||1||0||1||1||1||.314|
|Victor Martinez, C||4||1||2||0||0||0||0||.279|
|Ron Belliard, 2B||3||1||1||0||0||0||1||.284|
|Jeff Liefer, 1B||3||1||1||4||0||0||0||.227|
|Ben Broussard, 1B||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.259|
|Aaron Boone, 3B||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||.231|
|Casey Blake, RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.244|
|2B - Ron Belliard (22, Burgos)|
|HR - Jeff Liefer (1, Carrasco)|
|SH - Ron Belliard (4)|
|RBI - Jeff Liefer 4 (7)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - A. Boone-Belliard-Broussard|
|Kevin Millwood (W,6-9)||7||8||2||2||1||5||0||3.09|
|Scott Sauerbeck (H,12)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||3.03|
|Bob Wickman (S,32)||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||2.96|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Millwood 105-0, Scott Sauerbeck 13-0, Bob Wickman 15-0|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Millwood 8-8, Scott Sauerbeck 2-0, Bob Wickman 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Kevin Millwood 30, Scott Sauerbeck 3, Bob Wickman 3|
|Kansas City Royals|
|David DeJesus, CF||4||1||2||0||0||0||0||.285|
|Chip Ambres, LF||3||1||2||1||0||0||0||.333|
|Mike Sweeney, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.305|
|Terrence Long, RF||3||0||2||1||0||0||1||.277|
|a- Joe McEwing, PH-RF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.258|
|Emil Brown, DH||4||0||1||0||0||3||4||.285|
|Mark Teahen, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.243|
|Angel Berroa, SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.262|
|Donnie Murphy, 2B||2||0||0||0||1||1||0||.204|
|b- Denny Hocking, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.333|
|Paul Phillips, C||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.250|
|c- John Buck, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.231|
|a-grounded out for Long in the 8th|
|b-struck out for Murphy in the 9th|
|c-grounded into a double play for Phillips in the 9th|
|2B - David DeJesus 2 (29, Millwood, Millwood)|
|3B - Emil Brown (3, Millwood)|
|SH - Chip Ambres (1)|
|RBI - Chip Ambres (5), Terrence Long (39)|
|SB - Angel Berroa (5, 3rd base off Millwood/Martinez)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Teahen-Sweeney|
|E - Mark Teahen (17, Misplayed grounder)|
|Kansas City Royals|
|D.J. Carrasco (L,5-6)||6.2||5||4||4||2||3||1||4.37|
|Pitches-Strikes - D.J. Carrasco 96-0, Ambiorix Burgos 20-0, Mike MacDougal 22-0|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - D.J. Carrasco 11-7, Ambiorix Burgos 2-0, Mike MacDougal 1-0|
|Batters Faced - D.J. Carrasco 28, Ambiorix Burgos 5, Mike MacDougal 4|
|Attendance - 14506|
|Game Time - 2:54|
|Temperature - 92|
|Umpires - Home - Ron Kulpa, First Base - Dan Iassogna, Second Base - Dale Scott, Third Base - Tim Tschida|