Kansas City at Cleveland

Scoreboard
Kansas City (55-72)000030000382
Cleveland (59-67) «03200113x10102

Cleveland ace Lee wins 18th, backed by Sizemore's 7 RBI

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

CLEVELAND -- An 18-2 record pitching for any team is impressive.

Cliff Lee's season has been truly remarkable because he's been practically unbeatable for team that's been less than mediocre.

The Indians' left-hander recorded his AL-best 18th victory and won his seventh straight decision as Cleveland beat the Kansas City Royals 10-3 on Thursday.

Lee, the Cy Young award front-runner, allowed three runs -- two earned -- and six hits in seven innings. He struck out seven and induced four double plays. Lee leads the AL in wins, winning percentage (.900) and ERA (2.43) for a team that's 59-67 and, until recently, was fighting to get out of last place in the Central Division.

"He's had a great year," said Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore, who didn't have a bad day himself with a career-high seven RBI. "It's not a surprise anymore when he goes out there and pitches like that."

"It's remarkable what he's done," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.

Lee hasn't been basking in his success.

"I'm focused on my next start," he said. "It's against Detroit (next Tuesday). That's where my focus is."

While the Indians completed a 7-3 homestand, the Royals have lost five straight, 12 of 14 and head back to Kansas City after a 1-8 road trip.

"It wasn't a good day or road trip," manager Trey Hillman said after his team made two errors, leading to four unearned runs. "It's frustrating, obviously."

Sizemore, who was 4-for-5, had a three-run triple in the second, a run-scoring single in the sixth and a three-run homer in the eighth.

Shin-Soo Choo hit a two-run homer in the third and Jhonny Peralta hit a solo home run in the seventh for Cleveland, which swept the three-game series.

Zack Greinke (9-9) allowed five runs in five innings. Despite the errors by his defense, the right-hander took the blame for the loss.

"I usually do a good job of getting out of those problems," he said. "It's not like those errors would have ended the inning. I'm not making good pitches after that."

Lee didn't give his latest outing a favorable review.

"I didn't feel like I had my best stuff," he said. "I had to battle. The double plays were big. Give credit to the offense. When you get five runs in the first three innings, it gives you some cushion."

Lee walked two batters in the second, but was assisted by the first double play. He retired eight in a row at one point before pinch-hitter Jason Smith reached on a one-out error by third baseman Jamey Carroll in the fifth.

John Buck, in a 3-for-45 slump, followed with a line drive single to left for Kansas City's first hit and Mark Teahen doubled in both runners. Tony Pena Jr. singled, scoring Teahen and making it 5-3.

Mike Aviles followed with another single before Lee got Esteban German to hit a ground ball to Carroll, who stepped on third and threw to first for a double play.

Lee also had double plays turned behind him in the sixth and seventh.

"You're going to get yourself in tough situations and you have to limit the damage," Wedge said. "Cliff has done a good job of that this season."

Lee is unbeaten at Progressive Field in 2008, going 8-0 with a 2.39 ERA in 11 starts.

A fielding error by Pena at short and singles by Carroll and Asdrubal Cabrera loaded the bases in the second. Sizemore tripled to left-center for a 3-0 lead.

A throwing error by first baseman Billy Butler started Cleveland's rally in the third. Choo homered to center with one out. Peralta's homer led off the seventh.

Sizemore's three-run homer came off left-hander Josh Newman. He entered Thursday in a 12-for-65 slump (.185) over his last 17 games.

"Every day is different," he said. "I feel good and I'm seeing the ball well."

Greinke is 2-5 in his last 10 starts and has failed three straight times to get his 10th win.

Notes

  • Hillman is undecided about who will start Saturday and Sunday against Detroit.
  • Royals 3B Alex Gordon, who missed Monday's game because of a stiff back, was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the fifth with upper right quad tightness.
  • OF Mitch Maier, who broke three bones in his face after being hit by a pitch Wednesday, was placed on the 15-day disabled list. OF Joey Gathright was recalled from a rehab assignment at Triple-A Omaha.
  • The Indians turned a season-high five double plays.
  • The Indians are 12-5 in August.
  • The Indians held a moment of silence before the game for Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, who died Wednesday. Tubbs Jones represented Ohio's 11th District, which includes areas of Cleveland.
 
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.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Cliff Lee wins his seventh straight decision. He leads the AL in victories (18) and ERA (2.43).  (AP)
Cliff Lee wins his seventh straight decision. He leads the AL in victories (18) and ERA (2.43). (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

G. Sizemore
AB 5
R 1
H 4
HR 1
RBI 7
Kansas City

M. Teahen
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
 

Related Video

December 17, 2014
Chiefs at Steelers Preview (2:52)
December 16, 2014
Fantasy Update: Alex Smith
(0:40)
December 16, 2014
Fantasy Update: Albert Wilson
(0:37)
December 9, 2014
Alex Smith joins Jim Rome
(4:26)
Kansas City Royals
Mike Aviles, 2B4020000 .328
Esteban German, LF4010011 .234
David DeJesus, CF4010010 .294
Jose Guillen, DH3000112 .251
Billy Butler, 1B4000012 .261
Alex Gordon, 3B0000100 .254
   a- Jason Smith, PH-3B3110000 .211
John Buck, C4110032 .222
Mark Teahen, RF2112000 .247
Tony Pena, SS3011011 .164
Totals3138328  
a-grounded out for Gordon in the 5th
Batting
2B - Mark Teahen (22, Lee)
RBI - Mark Teahen 2 (42), Tony Pena (11)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
E - Billy Butler (2, Throwing), Tony Pena (9, Dropped fly)
Kansas City Royals
Zack Greinke (L,9-9) 5651141 3.86
Robinson Tejeda 1111210 3.82
Joel Peralta 1111001 5.40
Josh Newman 1233211 8.62
Pitches-Strikes - Zack Greinke 99-63, Robinson Tejeda 34-18, Joel Peralta 15-9, Josh Newman 32-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zack Greinke 8-5, Robinson Tejeda 2-0, Joel Peralta 1-2, Josh Newman 1-1
Batters Faced - Zack Greinke 24, Robinson Tejeda 6, Joel Peralta 4, Josh Newman 7
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF5147010 .272
Franklin Gutierrez, RF4000102 .231
Ben Francisco, DH5010003 .284
Jhonny Peralta, SS5211023 .276
Shin-Soo Choo, LF4112101 .262
Ryan Garko, 1B4110011 .255
Kelly Shoppach, C4000021 .260
Jamey Carroll, 3B2310201 .265
Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B3210100 .226
Totals3610101056  
Batting
3B - Grady Sizemore (5, Greinke)
HR - Grady Sizemore (29, Newman), Jhonny Peralta (21, Peralta), Shin-Soo Choo (6, Greinke)
RBI - Grady Sizemore 7 (79), Jhonny Peralta (70), Shin-Soo Choo 2 (34)
2-OUT RBI - Grady Sizemore 4 (40)
SB - Grady Sizemore (31, 2nd base off Tejeda/Buck)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - A. Cabrera-Garko, Carroll-Garko, Peralta-A. Cabrera-Garko, Carroll-A. Cabrera-Garko, Garko
E - Jamey Carroll (3, Misplayed grounder), Cliff Lee (1, Throwing)
Cleveland Indians
Cliff Lee (W,18-2) 7632270 2.43
Rafael Betancourt 1200000 5.57
Brendan Donnelly 1000010 12.27
HBP - Teahen (by Cliff Lee)
Pitches-Strikes - Cliff Lee 102-70, Rafael Betancourt 17-11, Brendan Donnelly 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cliff Lee 9-2
Batters Faced - Cliff Lee 27, Rafael Betancourt 4, Brendan Donnelly 3
Game Information
Attendance - 21391
Game Time - 3:02
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Marty Foster, Second Base - Derryl Cousins, Third Base - Angel Hernandez