Royals drop 12th straight
Grady Sizemore homered twice and made a game-saving catch for the final out, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 5-4 victory over Kansas City on Friday night and handing the Royals their 12th straight loss.
Cliff Lee (8-1) moved into a tie for the AL lead in victories despite an off night. He allowed four runs and 10 hits in six innings. His ERA crept up from 1.50 to 1.88, still good enough to lead the league.
Kansas City blew a 4-1 lead, committed a costly baserunning blunder and was robbed by Sizemore in the ninth. The star center fielder hauled in Jose Guillen’s liner with the tying run on second in the ninth and held on after he crashed into the wall, ending the game.
The Royals’ skid is the majors’ longest since Pittsburgh lost 13 straight in June 2006, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Kansas City also had a 13-game losing streak in 2006.
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 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 fifth and tying run, saying Gathright touched the plate a split second after Peralta tagged DeJesus.
Franklin Gutierrez 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.
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.
Joe 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 Joey 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.
Lee, who threw a complete-game shutout against the Royals on April 24, improved to 9-4 in his career against KC.
Catcher Buck drew an unusual error in the fifth when he bumped into first baseman Teahen as they both chased Blake’s high popup in front of the Royals bench. The ball dropped out of Teahen’s glove because of the contact. He had gone 78 games without an error.