Cleveland at Kansas City

Cleveland (55-69) «00030103310140
Kansas City (47-77)000040110690

Indians 10, Royals 6 wire reports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Rookie second baseman Luis Valbuena is starting to enjoy these game-winning home runs.

He hit one for the second time in three days Monday night, driving a three-run shot off Joakim Soria in the eighth inning and sending the Cleveland Indians past the hapless Kansas City Royals 10-6. Travis Hafner also had a big night for the Indians with a three-run homer and an RBI double in a 3-for-5 outing.

 Royals cut lefty Mahay

"I feel better, I feel good at the plate," Valbuena said through an interpreter. "I feel like every game I start, something good is going to happen."

Valbuena, who had a walk-off home run in a 4-3 victory over Seattle on Saturday night, hit Soria's fastball for his eighth home run after K.C. took a 5-4 lead in the seventh on Yuniesky Betancourt's sacrifice fly off Jeremy Sowers.

Soria (3-2), who does not usually come in before the ninth, started the eighth and gave up singles to Jhonny Peralta and Hafner ahead of Valbuena, who started the year in Triple-A and was recalled on May 2.

"He gets big hits. He likes being up there in key situations and he's been swinging the bat very well," manager Eric Wedge said. "You're seeing a young man who is continually getting better over the course of the season, continuing to get a better feel for this league and different situations, different ytpes of games."

Soria, an All-Star closer in 2008, blew his third save in 23 chances and Kansas City lost its fifth in a row.

"I was ready," Soria said. "It was just a bad night. I tried to hit the outside corner [on Valbuena] and the ball came down the middle."

Hafner, only four home runs away from breaking into Cleveland's all-time top 10, drove Gil Meche's 3-0 pitch 403 feet over the fence for a 3-0 lead in the fourth. After the Royals took a 4-3 lead in the fifth, Hafner's double scored Shin-Soo Choo, who had tripled.

Sowers (5-9) retired the first nine batters and had faced the minimum through four innings before giving up four runs in the fifth, including two on John Buck's double. Brayan Pena walked leading off, then Alberto Callaspo singled and Mark Teahen had an RBI single ahead of Buck. Betancourt's sacrifice fly put the Royals on top 4-3. He gave up five runs on six hits in seven innings, walking two and striking out two.

"He had the one bad inning," Wedge said. "Other than that, I felt like he threw the ball well. He had a hiccup, no doubt. But he was able to come back after that and I think that says a lot. Before, he would have trouble getting back on track. But he got back on track."

Royals manager Trey Hillman said Soria was ready to come in.

"He's the best guy in the bullpen. He'd had four days of rest. I'd do it again," he said.

Meche went seven innings and allowed four runs for the third straight start.

Asdrubal Cabrera had a two-run double in the ninth and scored the 10th run on a double-play grounder.


With 158 home runs, Hafner is four away from Ken Keltner for 10th in Cleveland history. ... The Royals designated for assignment LHP Ron Mahay and purchased the contract of RHP Yasuhiko Yabuta from Triple-A Omaha. ... Cleveland LF Matt LaPorta made a terrific play on Mitch Maier's pop fly in the third inning, sliding on his backside to catch the ball.
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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Players of the Game
Kansas City

Y. Betancourt
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0

T. Hafner
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1

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Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF4100101 .245
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS5222011 .314
Shin-Soo Choo, RF5230000 .297
Jhonny Peralta, 3B4020013 .280
    Jamey Carroll, PR-3B1100000 .288
Travis Hafner, DH5234011 .282
Luis Valbuena, 2B3113101 .249
Kelly Shoppach, C3000113 .207
Matt LaPorta, LF4010001 .230
Andy Marte, 1B4120001 .259
2B - Asdrubal Cabrera (31, Bale), Jhonny Peralta (28, Meche), Travis Hafner (15, Meche), Andy Marte (2, Meche)
3B - Shin-Soo Choo (5, Meche)
HR - Travis Hafner (13, Meche), Luis Valbuena (8, Soria)
RBI - Asdrubal Cabrera 2 (53), Travis Hafner 4 (38), Luis Valbuena 3 (24)
Team LOB - 4
DP - A. Cabrera-Valbuena-Marte
Cleveland Indians
Jeremy Sowers (W,5-9) 7655220 4.93
Jess Todd (H,1) 1211000 7.27
Kerry Wood 1100110 4.60
WP - Jess Todd (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Sowers 102-64, Jess Todd 15-10, Kerry Wood 26-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Sowers 10-7, Jess Todd 1-2
Batters Faced - Jeremy Sowers 27, Jess Todd 5, Kerry Wood 5
Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, LF4120102 .272
Willie Bloomquist, RF4010002 .260
Billy Butler, 1B4001001 .298
Brayan Pena, DH3100101 .296
Alberto Callaspo, 2B4110001 .295
Mark Teahen, 3B4221020 .283
John Buck, C3112111 .212
Mitch Maier, CF2000001 .244
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS3022000 .235
2B - John Buck (7, Sowers)
SF - Yuniesky Betancourt (5)
SH - Mitch Maier 2 (5)
RBI - Billy Butler (66), Mark Teahen (42), John Buck 2 (29), Yuniesky Betancourt 2 (36)
2-OUT RBI - Yuniesky Betancourt (11)
CS - Yuniesky Betancourt (3, 2nd base by Sowers/Shoppach)
Team LOB - 4
Outfield Assists - Mitch Maier 1
DP - Maier-Buck, Callaspo-Betancourt-Butler, Betancourt-Callaspo-Butler
Kansas City Royals
Gil Meche 7844231 4.75
Joakim Soria (BS,3; L,3-2) 0.2333001 2.97
Jamey Wright 0.1122100 4.80
John Bale 1211010 6.08
Pitches-Strikes - Gil Meche 100-61, Joakim Soria 18-12, Jamey Wright 8-3, John Bale 13-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gil Meche 7-9, Joakim Soria 1-1, Jamey Wright 1-0, John Bale 1-0
Batters Faced - Gil Meche 29, Joakim Soria 5, Jamey Wright 3, John Bale 4
Game Information
Attendance - 11101
Game Time - 3:04
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Field Culbreth, First Base - Adrian Johnson, Second Base - Damien Beal, Third Base - Gary Cederstrom