Cleveland at Kansas City

Kansas City
W: K. Millwood (9-11) L: M. Wood (5-8)
HR: CLE - J. Peralta (23), R. Belliard (15), G. Sizemore (22), C. Crisp (16)   KC - A. Guiel (4)

Indians bolster wild-card lead with big bats -- again

CBS wire reports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- With another big night at the plate, the Cleveland Indians boosted their AL wild-card lead to 1½ games.

Jhonny Peralta, Ronnie Belliard, Grady Sizemore and Coco Crisp homered to lead the Indians over the Kansas City Royals 11-4 Saturday night, the Indians' 17th win in 19 games.

With the Yankees' 7-4 loss to Toronto, Cleveland is 1½ games ahead New York and Boston, which are tied for the AL East lead at 90-64. The Indians (92-63) remained 1½ games behind the Chicago White Sox (93-61) in the AL Central.

"We're right where we need to be," Kevin Millwood said. "We can get in one way or the other."

Ben Broussard had a career-high three doubles and four RBI on his 29th birthday. Cleveland had 16 hits, including seven doubles and four homers.

The Indians, who have won four straight and 10 of 11, set their season high for extra-base hits and have 62 homers in their past 31 games.

"We've kind of put in a lot of time in the last couple of years getting beat and now it time for us to go out and play well, and we've been doing it for a while," Broussard said. "It's been a lot of fun. We've just got to stay focused and finish strong. We control our own destiny. We're not going to have to depend on other people right now. We just have to play good baseball a little more than a week and see where we're at."

Millwood (9-11) allowed one run -- a leadoff home run to Aaron Guiel -- and seven hits in six innings, lowering his league-leading ERA to 2.92.

"Kevin threw the ball very well," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "He wasn't feeling particularly well today. He battled through it, nothing physically, just under the weather. I think he had flu-like symptoms. It showed what type of competitor he is. This guy has been nothing short of outstanding for us. He's been our most consistent starter if you go outing to outing."

Millwood is attempting to become the first Indian to led the league in ERA since Rick Sutcliffe (2.96) in 1982. With only one scheduled start left, Millwood could become the first pitcher to win the AL ERA title with a losing record since Mel Harder, who was 15-17 with a 2.95 ERA for the 1933 Indians.

"It's not much I can do about my record," Millwood said. "It would still be exciting to lead the league in ERA."

Kansas City went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position off Millwood, who leads the AL by holding hitters to a .191 average with runners in scoring position. Millwood got double-play grounders to end the fifth and sixth innings.

"I wouldn't say I was sick," Millwood said. "I didn't feel quite right. After getting through six innings, I didn't have a whole lot left."

Peralta's two-run homer in the first put the Indians ahead and tied the Indians record for home runs by a shortstop, set by Woody Held with 23 in 1961.

Guiel's home run was the first off Millwood in six starts. It was the second straight game the Royals opened the game with a home run -- Chip Ambres did it Friday.

Belliard homered in the fourth to make it 3-1, and Cleveland increased the lead to 5-1 in the sixth on Sizemore's 22nd homer and Casey Blake's sacrifice fly.

Royals starter Mike Wood (5-8) gave up five runs, nine hits and five walks in six innings.

"They're swinging the bats pretty well right now," Royals catcher John Buck said. "When we're putting them in hitter's counts all the time, that's a good indicator why they're hitting home runs instead of just getting base hits. They're getting comfortable and putting little more aggressive swings on it.

Kansas City dropped to 52-102, two shy of the franchise record for losses set last year.


  • Kansas City DH Mike Sweeney was able to take batting practice, but was out of the Royals lineup for the third consecutive game with tightness in his lower back.
  • Travis Hafner's streak of homering in six straight games ended. He singled in the fifth, stopping his streak of his 10 consecutive extra-base hits.
  • Guiel's leadoff home run was the third of his career.
  • The Indians improved to 50-30 on the road.
  • The Royals have lost a team-record 10 consecutive games to the Indians.
Copyright 2017 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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Grady Sizemore and Coco Crisp both go yard in the Indians' victory over the hapless Royals. (AP)
Grady Sizemore and Coco Crisp both go yard in the Indians' victory over the hapless Royals. (AP)

Players of the Game

B. Broussard
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0

J. Peralta
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1

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Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF6231011 .296
Coco Crisp, LF5222102 .309
Jhonny Peralta, SS5232102 .291
Travis Hafner, DH4110103 .307
Victor Martinez, C3220201 .304
    Josh Bard, C0000000 .193
Ron Belliard, 2B4111117 .282
    Ramon Vazquez, 2B0000000 .212
Ben Broussard, 1B5134002 .257
Aaron Boone, 3B4000011 .246
Casey Blake, RF3011110 .240
2B - Grady Sizemore (36, Wood), Jhonny Peralta (34, Demaria), Victor Martinez (30, Demaria), Ben Broussard 3 (27, Wood, Demaria, Nunez), Casey Blake (29, Nunez)
HR - Grady Sizemore (22, Wood), Coco Crisp (16, Demaria), Jhonny Peralta (23, Wood), Ron Belliard (15, Wood)
SF - Casey Blake (5)
SH - Aaron Boone (3)
RBI - Grady Sizemore (81), Coco Crisp 2 (69), Jhonny Peralta 2 (77), Ron Belliard (74), Ben Broussard 4 (67), Casey Blake (54)
2-OUT RBI - Grady Sizemore (37), Ben Broussard 3 (25)
Team LOB - 10
DP - Belliard-Peralta-Broussard, A. Boone-Belliard-Broussard, Vazquez-Peralta-Broussard
Cleveland Indians
Kevin Millwood (W,9-11) 6711131 2.92
Rafael Betancourt 1000000 2.92
Scott Sauerbeck 0.2133400 4.04
David Riske 1.1100110 3.26
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Millwood 76-49, Rafael Betancourt 4-4, Scott Sauerbeck 26-10, David Riske 24-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Millwood 6-7, Rafael Betancourt 3-0, Scott Sauerbeck 1-0
Batters Faced - Kevin Millwood 24, Rafael Betancourt 3, Scott Sauerbeck 6, David Riske 6
Kansas City Royals
Aaron Guiel, CF2111102 .309
   a- Chip Ambres, PH-CF1100110 .250
Terrence Long, LF3010001 .282
   b- Matt Diaz, PH-LF2010000 .280
Emil Brown, RF5010003 .290
Matt Stairs, 1B3100121 .275
Mark Teahen, 3B3110102 .242
Angel Berroa, SS3010001 .271
   c- Donnie Murphy, PH-2B0001100 .171
John Buck, C4022001 .240
Justin Huber, DH3010101 .246
Andres Blanco, 2B-SS4000016 .182
a-walked for Guiel in the 8th
b-singled for Long in the 8th
c-walked for Berroa in the 8th
2B - John Buck (19, Millwood)
HR - Aaron Guiel (4, Millwood)
RBI - Aaron Guiel (7), Donnie Murphy (7), John Buck 2 (43)
2-OUT RBI - Donnie Murphy (4), John Buck 2 (15)
SB - Emil Brown (10, 2nd base off Millwood/Martinez)
Team LOB - 8
Outfield Assists - Terrence Long 1
DP - Blanco-Berroa-Stairs
Kansas City Royals
Mike Wood (L,5-8) 6955533 4.14
Chris Demaria 1.1566211 10.57
Leo Nunez 1.2200000 7.84
WP - Mike Wood 2 (7)
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Wood 108-60, Chris Demaria 37-19, Leo Nunez 28-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Wood 9-5, Chris Demaria 2-0, Leo Nunez 1-4
Batters Faced - Mike Wood 31, Chris Demaria 10, Leo Nunez 7
Game Information
Attendance - 17358
Game Time - 3:07
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Paul Emmel, Second Base - Ed Montague, Third Base - Tony Randazzo