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Lee wins eighth game for Indians, hands Royals 12th straight loss

CBSSports.com wire reports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Consecutive loss No. 12 in what Kansas City manager Trey Hillman calls "this miserable streak" could hardly have been more entertaining for fans or more maddening for the Royals.

A baserunning mistake cost the Royals one chance to score the tying run and an outstanding defensive play cost them another. Then the Cleveland Indians ended a 5-4 victory Friday night with a great outfield catch by Grady Sizemore, who had already hit two of their three home runs.

"That was a helluva baseball game," said Cleveland manager Eric Wedge.

"I'm at a loss," said Hillman, whose Royals own the longest losing streak in the majors in nearly two years.

Cliff Lee (8-1) had an off night but still moved into a tie for the AL lead in victories, allowing four runs and 10 hits in six innings. His ERA rose from 1.50 to 1.88, still good enough to lead the league.

Kansas City blew a 4-1 lead while creeping to within one of the 13-game losing streak they endured in May 2006. Pittsburgh also lost 13 straight in June 2006, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

With the tying run on second and two out in the ninth, Jose Guillen sent Joe Borowski's pitch screaming toward the fence in center.

"I know what Sizemore can do," said Hillman. "He's a great centerfielder. But at the very least, I thought the game was tied as soon as it left the bat. With a hope and a prayer I was hoping it was going to go where I thought it was going to go, and get out of the ballpark."

Instead, Sizemore ran back and banged into the wall, falling to the turf and coming up with the ball and the victory in his glove.

"I got a really good jump on it," said Sizemore, who skinned his right knee. "I bumped the wall a little on my knee after the catch. I'm fine."

Casey Blake hit a go-ahead, two-run homer off Brett Tomko (2-7) in the sixth for the Indians, who had lost 10 of 12 heading into their season-high 11-game road trip.

The Royals' worst mistake came when they were trailing by one run in the fifth. With Joey Gathright on second and David DeJesus on first, Esteban German singled to right with two outs. DeJesus, after making a wide turn at second, tried to come back to the bag but was tagged out by shortstop Jhonny Peralta.

Plate umpire Brian Runge waved off what would have been the tying run, saying Gathright touched the plate a split second after Peralta tagged DeJesus. Royals manager Trey Hillman said Gathright, the Royals' fastest runner, deserved as much blame as DeJesus.

"No doubt about it. He slowed down to look at the play," said Hillman. "You can't make that mistake. He wasn't going elbows and rear ends like he's got to on that play just in case the initial runner from first base makes a mistake."

DeJesus insisted it was all his fault.

"I take full responsibility," he said. "You saw me laying face first in the dirt. I didn't want to get up. We could have tied the game and you never know what happens from there."

Lee seemed to agree with Hillman.

"I was backing up home and saw Gathright running hard," he said. "Then he saw the throw going to second and he pulled back a little bit."

On the final bang-bang play, left fielder Ben Francisco also crashed into the wall as he backed up Blake.

"The way Sizemore and Francisco went after the last ball is what it's all about," said Wedge. "It was one of those games where every little bit meant something in the end."

Franklin Gutierrez, who had just replaced Francisco in right field, also made a diving catch of Mark Teahen's sinking liner with two out in the seventh to stop Guillen from scoring the tying run.

"I had to battle," Lee said. "Give a lot of credit to our offense and defense. We made some unbelievable plays."

Sizemore connected on Gil Meche's sixth pitch, giving him 15 leadoff homers for his career and four this year. He also went deep against Meche in the fifth after Andy Marte singled.

Peralta doubled ahead of Blake's drive off Tomko in the sixth. Tomko went one inning and gave up two runs and two hits.

Borowski pitched the ninth for his fourth save in six opportunities.

Lee walked Miguel Olivo leading off the second, the Royals' first base on balls in 38 innings. Olivo scored on John Buck's double and Gathright's RBI single made it 2-1.

Buck doubled in Teahen in the fourth and DeJesus added an RBI single off Lee to make it 4-1.

Notes

  • It was Sizemore's third career two-homer game and his second this season.
  • KC has allowed three or more home runs four times this season and are 0-4 in those games. The Royals haven't hit a ball over the fence since May 22 in Boston.
 
Copyright 2015 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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Jose Guillen and the Royals are mired in a horrific slump and can't get on track vs. the Indians.  (AP)
Jose Guillen and the Royals are mired in a horrific slump and can't get on track vs. the Indians. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

C. Lee
IP 6.0
H 10
ER 4
BB 1
K 3
Kansas City

J. Buck
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 

Related Video

Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF4223100 .260
David Dellucci, LF3010000 .229
   a- Franklin Gutierrez, PH-RF1000001 .236
Ben Francisco, RF-LF3000101 .310
Victor Martinez, C4000022 .294
Ryan Garko, DH4000020 .228
Jhonny Peralta, SS3120100 .233
Casey Blake, 1B3112101 .218
Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B4010012 .186
Andy Marte, 3B4110012 .167
Totals3358546  
a-hit into fielder's choice-bunting for Dellucci in the 7th
Batting
2B - David Dellucci (7, Meche), Jhonny Peralta 2 (8, Meche, Tomko), Asdrubal Cabrera (6, Meche)
HR - Grady Sizemore 2 (10, Meche, Meche), Casey Blake (4, Tomko)
RBI - Grady Sizemore 3 (29), Casey Blake 2 (29)
2-OUT RBI - Grady Sizemore 2 (16)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Ben Francisco 1
DP - A. Cabrera-Peralta-Blake
E - Casey Blake (6, Dropped line drive)
Cleveland Indians
Cliff Lee (W,8-1) 61044130 1.88
Rafael Betancourt (H,4) 0.2100010 5.40
Rafael Perez (H,8) 1.1100010 3.16
Joe Borowski (S,4) 1100000 10.29
Pitches-Strikes - Cliff Lee 101-70, Rafael Betancourt 10-7, Rafael Perez 13-10, Joe Borowski 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cliff Lee 9-6, Rafael Perez 1-1
Batters Faced - Cliff Lee 29, Rafael Betancourt 3, Rafael Perez 4, Joe Borowski 4
Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, RF5021001 .284
Esteban German, 2B5030002 .186
Alex Gordon, 3B5010013 .286
Jose Guillen, LF5010013 .245
Miguel Olivo, DH3100102 .295
Mark Teahen, 1B4220001 .258
John Buck, C4122020 .256
Joey Gathright, CF4021001 .268
Tony Pena, SS3000013 .157
   a- Alberto Callaspo, PH-SS1000001 .276
Totals39413415  
a-grounded into a double play for Pena in the 8th
Batting
2B - Esteban German (1, Borowski), Jose Guillen (19, Betancourt), John Buck 2 (8, Lee, Lee)
3B - Mark Teahen (3, Lee)
RBI - David DeJesus (20), John Buck 2 (16), Joey Gathright (9)
2-OUT RBI - David DeJesus (3)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Joey Gathright 1
DP - German-Pena-Teahen
E - John Buck (1, Dropped fly)
Kansas City Royals
Gil Meche 5633262 5.35
Brett Tomko (L,2-7) 1222001 6.32
Ron Mahay 1000100 2.55
Ramon Ramirez 2000100 3.42
Pitches-Strikes - Gil Meche 107-66, Brett Tomko 17-10, Ron Mahay 7-3, Ramon Ramirez 26-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gil Meche 3-5, Brett Tomko 1-2, Ron Mahay 2-0, Ramon Ramirez 4-2
Batters Faced - Gil Meche 22, Brett Tomko 5, Ron Mahay 3, Ramon Ramirez 7
Game Information
Attendance - 25243
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Brian Runge, First Base - Charlie Reliford, Second Base - Mike Estabrook, Third Base - Greg Gibson