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Kansas City at Cleveland

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Cleveland «01400000x530

Hafner's slam, Westbrook's six-hitter carry Indians vs. Royals

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CLEVELAND -- Jake Westbrook was so focused he hardly noticed an approaching thunderstorm.

The right-hander pitched a six-hit shutout and Travis Hafner hit a grand slam to help the Cleveland Indians defeat the Kansas City Royals 5-0 Wednesday night.

"I didn't really know about the storm, I just wanted to go out and get it over with," said Westbrook (4-2), who maintained his focus in a rainy ninth inning to complete his second career shutout and first since June 14, 2004, against Baltimore.

Cleveland got only three hits but took advantage of seven walks to win for the second time after a six-game losing streak. Hafner broke that streak with a game-winning two-run homer in a 6-4 win over the Royals on Tuesday night.

The Royals fell to 2-19 on the road, tying the worst start away from home in major league history. They have lost five straight overall and are a season-low 17 games under .500.

"It's ridiculous, without a doubt," third baseman Tony Graffanino said. "Whatever we are doing isn't good enough."

Westbrook won for just the second time in seven starts since April 9. He didn't walk a batter and struck out two -- both in the first inning. Then he used a sharp sinker to record 18 outs on grounders, including every out of the third through fifth innings.

"He lives and dies with that sinker," said Graffanino, who got one of the Royals' six singles. "When he spots it like that, he's pretty effective."

It was Cleveland's first complete-game shutout since C.C. Sabathia did it Sept. 4, 2004, at Seattle.

"Every starting pitcher's goal is to finish the ballgame," Westbrook said. "It's a nice feeling."

Hafner was 0-for-7 in his career against Jeremy Affeldt (2-3) until connecting in the third. He joined Texas' Kevin Mench as the only players with two grand slams this season. Hafner also did it May 1 against the Chicago White Sox.

Affeldt walked Grady Sizemore and Jason Michaels with one out in the third. Jhonny Peralta reached on an error by Graffanino to load the bases for Hafner, who hit the next pitch into the right-field seats for a 5-0 lead.

"He throws a cutter to me quite a bit, but this time it was a fastball down the middle," said Hafner, who homered in consecutive games for the seventh time this season.

Six of Hafner's 13 homers, including the last two against Kansas City, have come against left-handers.

"I'm feeling more comfortable against them," said Hafner, who is hitting .365 (23-for-63) with 20 RBI against lefties. "I hit them pretty well in the minors, but they are a lot tougher in the big leagues. It's been a progressive thing for me and I do feel good up there this year against them."

Casey Blake put Cleveland ahead 1-0 with an RBI single in the second. The sharp single to right extended his career-high hitting streak to 14 games and gave him a .529 (9-for-17) average with runners in scoring position and two outs this season.

Affeldt allowed four earned runs and three hits over six innings. He walked six and struck out one.

"The walks pretty much buried our team," he said. "I just couldn't find the plate. Then Hafner did exactly what he should have done with that pitch -- put it in the seats."

Notes

  • Indians C Victor Martinez went 0-for-3 and is mired in an 0-for-21 slump.
  • Hafner also walked three times and is 6-for-10 over his last three games.
  • Indians 2B Ronnie Belliard went 1-for-3 and is 7-for-15 over his last four games against Kansas City.
  • Royals 1B Doug Mientkiewicz is hitting .385 (10-for-26) against Cleveland this year.
  • The Royals have been outscored 134-57 on the road.
 
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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Jake Westbrook pitches a six-hitter in winning for the second time in seven starts since April 9.  (AP)
Jake Westbrook pitches a six-hitter in winning for the second time in seven starts since April 9. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

T. Hafner
AB 1
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 4
Cleveland

J. Westbrook
IP 9.0
H 6
ER 0
BB 0
K 2
 
Kansas City Royals
Kerry Robinson, CF4010002 .274
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B4010012 .305
Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B4010012 .237
Reggie Sanders, RF4000003 .228
Matt Stairs, DH4000000 .228
Aaron Guiel, LF2000000 .207
Tony Graffanino, 3B3010000 .257
Angel Berroa, SS3000002 .254
Paul Bako, C2010000 .200
   a- John Buck, PH-C1010000 .253
Totals310600211 
a-singled for Bako in the 8th
Fielding
DP - Graffanino-Grudzielanek-Mientkiewicz, Berroa-Grudzielanek-Mientkiewicz
E - Tony Graffanino (2, wild throw)
Kansas City Royals
Jeremy Affeldt (L,2-3) 6354611 5.46
Joe Nelson 1000010 0.00
Andrew Sisco 1000110 6.75
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Affeldt 110-57, Joe Nelson 13-9, Andrew Sisco 17-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Affeldt 6-11, Joe Nelson 1-1, Andrew Sisco 1-0
Batters Faced - Jeremy Affeldt 27, Joe Nelson 3, Andrew Sisco 3
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF3100100 .292
Jason Michaels, LF3100110 .270
Jhonny Peralta, SS4100000 .248
Travis Hafner, DH1214300 .331
Victor Martinez, C3000102 .304
Eduardo Perez, 1B2000101 .310
    Ben Broussard, 1B1000010 .390
Casey Blake, RF3011001 .366
Ron Belliard, 2B3010011 .273
Aaron Boone, 3B3000001 .246
Totals26535736 
Batting
HR - Travis Hafner (13, Affeldt)
RBI - Travis Hafner 4 (39), Casey Blake (28)
2-OUT RBI - Casey Blake (14)
SB - Grady Sizemore (5, 3rd base off Affeldt/Bako), Casey Blake (3, 2nd base off Affeldt/Bako)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Belliard-Peralta-Perez, Peralta-Belliard-Perez
Cleveland Indians
Jake Westbrook (W,4-2) 9600020 4.98
HBP - Guiel (by Jake Westbrook)
Pitches-Strikes - Jake Westbrook 112-73
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Westbrook 16-7
Batters Faced - Jake Westbrook 32
Game Information
Attendance - 15064
Game Time - 2:09
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - Charlie Reliford, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Greg Gibson