CLEVELAND -- Travis Hafner rounded the bases with his arms held high and a triumphant look on his face.
"Just putting the streak out of the way is big," said Hafner after his first career game-ending homer. "I went up there excited to hit in that situation."
Grady Sizemore led off the ninth with a game-tying homer off Ambiorix Burgos (1-2) into the Indians' bullpen in center field. It was Sizemore's third homer and fifth hit in eight career at-bats against Burgos, who blew his third straight save opportunity.
"I think we knew then that we were going to win," Sizemore said. "I was just trying to do something to get us going, but when I saw it go out, I was pretty fired up."
"If you make a bad pitch to a good hitter, you don't get lucky very often," said Sisco. "I didn't get lucky tonight. He's one of the best left-handed hitters in the game. It was a fastball and it was a strike -- that was the problem."
Hafner, who went 3-for-4 with three RBI, thought he had broken Cleveland's losing streak Sunday, but his long drive with two on and two outs in the bottom of the ninth was caught on the warning track in a 3-2 loss to Detroit.
"I hit them both about the same, but the wind was blowing in Sunday," he said. "Tonight, Grady took off all the pressure. I went up there and said to myself, 'Let's hit one and get out of here.'
"But I was fortunate to hit a homer."
Kansas City's fourth consecutive loss dropped the Royals to 2-18 on the road, tying the worst 20-game start away from home ever. The Houston Astros were the last team to start 2-18 on the road and they rebounded to go to the 2005 World Series.
Jason Davis (2-1) pitched a scoreless ninth for Cleveland, which won for just the second time in its last eight home games.
"We were pressing a bit," Sizemore said. "It's been kind of tight in the dugout the last few games."
Royals starter Scott Elarton was deprived of a win in his first game back in Cleveland since leaving to sign a two-year, $8 million contract with Kansas City in December.
"I don't know what to say except we've had bad luck," Elarton said.
In his second start this year against the Indians, the right-hander allowed three runs and seven hits over 5 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking two.
Matt Stairs hit his third homer leading off the sixth to snap a 3-3 tie against former Royals right-hander Paul Byrd, who left the Los Angeles Angels for a two-year, $14.25 million deal with Cleveland.
Byrd, who won a career-high 17 games for the Royals in 2002, allowed four runs and seven hits over six innings, striking out five.
The Royals put together four hits to take a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Doug Mientkiewicz doubled home a run, another scored on a groundout by Stairs and Emil Brown got an RBI when he beat out a grounder into the hole at shortstop.
Casey Blake made it 3-1, leading off the third with his seventh homer. That extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games.
|Travis Hafner is surrounded by teammates after his game-winning, two-run home run in the ninth. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Kansas City Royals|
|Kerry Robinson, CF||4||1||1||0||0||1||3||.276|
|Mark Grudzielanek, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||0||1||.307|
|Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B||4||1||2||1||0||1||0||.236|
|Reggie Sanders, RF||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.237|
|Matt Stairs, DH||4||1||2||2||0||0||1||.245|
|Emil Brown, LF||4||0||1||1||0||0||2||.222|
|Tony Graffanino, 3B||2||0||0||0||1||0||1||.254|
|Angel Berroa, SS||4||0||1||0||0||2||1||.260|
|John Buck, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.243|
|2B - Doug Mientkiewicz (8, Byrd), Matt Stairs (3, Byrd)|
|HR - Matt Stairs (3, Byrd)|
|RBI - Doug Mientkiewicz (11), Matt Stairs 2 (10), Emil Brown (16)|
|2-OUT RBI - Emil Brown (6)|
|SB - Angel Berroa (1, 2nd base off Byrd/Martinez)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|E - Reggie Sanders (1, )|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Elmer Dessens (H,7)||2.1||2||0||0||0||1||0||2.86|
|Ambiorix Burgos (BS,4; L,1-2)||0.1||1||2||2||1||1||1||6.23|
|HBP - Sizemore (by Scott Elarton)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Scott Elarton 104-63, Elmer Dessens 26-19, Ambiorix Burgos 14-7, Andrew Sisco 2-1|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Elarton 4-9, Elmer Dessens 2-4|
|Batters Faced - Scott Elarton 27, Elmer Dessens 9, Ambiorix Burgos 3, Andrew Sisco 1|
|Grady Sizemore, CF||4||1||1||1||0||0||3||.298|
|Jason Michaels, LF||5||0||1||1||0||2||1||.276|
|Jhonny Peralta, SS||3||1||0||0||2||2||1||.255|
|Travis Hafner, DH||4||1||3||3||0||0||0||.326|
|Victor Martinez, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||5||.310|
|Ben Broussard, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.394|
|Casey Blake, RF||4||1||1||1||0||2||1||.366|
|Ron Belliard, 2B||4||1||3||0||0||0||1||.271|
|Aaron Boone, 3B||3||1||1||0||1||0||2||.252|
|2B - Jason Michaels (8, Elarton), Travis Hafner (9, Dessens)|
|HR - Grady Sizemore (5, Burgos), Travis Hafner (12, Sisco), Casey Blake (7, Elarton)|
|SF - Travis Hafner (1)|
|RBI - Grady Sizemore (17), Jason Michaels (14), Travis Hafner 3 (35), Casey Blake (27)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|Outfield Assists - Jason Michaels 1|
|DP - Michaels-Martinez, Broussard|
|E - Paul Byrd (2, throwing)|
|Jason Davis (W,2-1)||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||3.32|
|HBP - Graffanino (by Paul Byrd)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Paul Byrd 93-66, Rafael Betancourt 8-6, Guillermo Mota 15-10, Jason Davis 13-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Byrd 7-6|
|Batters Faced - Paul Byrd 26, Rafael Betancourt 3, Guillermo Mota 4, Jason Davis 3|
|Attendance - 15399|
|Game Time - 2:49|
|Temperature - 57|
|Umpires - Home - Greg Gibson, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Charlie Reliford, Third Base - Larry Vanover|