for this game

Blake's blast buoys Indians past Royals

Sep 15, 2007 - 6:24 AM CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- Casey Blake picked the right time to end his homerless drought.

Blake homered in the bottom of the ninth inning to help the Cleveland Indians rally for a 5-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Friday.

The win allowed Cleveland to maintain its 5 1/2 game lead over Detroit in the AL Central and reduced its magic number to 10.

"We are in a pennant race," Cleveland starter and Cy Young candidate C.C. Sabathia said. "I'm just worried about trying to get that title for the Central Division. All I care about is pitching in the postseason."

Facing former Indian David Riske, Blake led off the ninth with his 16th homer of the season to left field gave the Indians their 12th victory in their last at-bat this season.

"(Riske) throws a lot of fastballs," Blake said. "In that situation, I was just trying to get something good to hit and be aggressive. I was just fortunate I got a good one to hit."

It was the first home run in 37 games for Blake, who last homered on August 1 against the Texas Rangers.

"I've been working on some things," deadpanned Blake, when asked about the homerless drought. "It's been a rough second half of the season for Blake, who has only two home runs since the All-Star break.

"It's one of those things I can't explain," Blake said. "The more I think about, the more they don't come. It seems, in my career, they come in spurts. Hopefully, this is a start of one."

After being shutdown by rookie Brian Bannister, the Indians offense came to life against the Royals bullpen.

Trailing 4-1, Franklin Gutierrez blasted a two-run homer in the seventh off of Joel Peralta to bring the Indians within one.

Victor Martinez then led off the eighth with a home run off of Riske (1-4) to tie the game. Martinez lofted a fly ball to right field that barely cleared the wall and the outstretched glove of Mark Teahen.

"I had no idea it was out until I heard everybody roar," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "(Martinez) has stepped up time and time again this season."

"It was two pitches," Riske said. "One wasn't hit very good. The other one was hit really good."

Indians reliever Joe Borowski (4-5) earned the victory after allowing one hit in one inning.

Martinez's home run took C.C. Sabathia off the hook as the burly lefthander's Cy Young chances suffered a setback despite a career-high 13 strikeouts over seven innings.

Sabathia entered Friday night's start having won his last three starts, but ran into his personal nemesis this season. In four starts against the Royals this season, Sabathia is 1-2 with an 3.48 ERA.

Sabathia was in control early, holding the Royals hitless into the fourth, but Kansas City touched him up for four runs in the fifth - all with two outs - to take a 4-1 lead.

Emil Brown led off the inning with a single and went to third on Tony Pena Jr.'s one-out single. Sabathia struck out Esteban German, but couldn't get out of the jam as David DeJesus laced a single to left to tie the game at 1-1.

Mark Grudzielanek followed with a two-run single into left-center to give the Royals a 3-1 lead. German scored all the way from first, as he took advantage of shortstop Jhonny Peralta not paying attention. Mike Sweeney capped the scoring with an RBI double into center.

The four runs allowed by Sabathia snapped his streak of allowing two earned runs or less at 10 starts. It was the second longest streak in the majors this season behind Oakland's Dan Haren, who has 12.

"You have to give (Kansas City) credit," Sabathia said. "They did a good job of staying on balls and hitting balls hard."

Sabathia rebounded to strike out the side in the sixth and ended his night by striking out DeJesus in the seventh on the front end of a strike-him-out, throw-him out double play in the seventh.

"The guys really picked me up today," Sabathia said. "I felt it in the dugout that we would win this game. It felt like we would comeback and put something together."

Meanwhile, Bannister strengthened his case for AL Rookie of the Year. The righthander bounced back from his worst start of the season to shutdown the Indians for the second time this season.

Bannister (12-8), who allowed seven runs in his last start against the New York Yankees, trails only Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka in wins by rookie pitchers. After giving up two singles in the first inning, Bannister held the Indians hitless the rest of the way as the righthander gave up one run in six innings.

"I thought I wasted some pitches," Bannister said. "By not getting to the seventh, I put too much pressure on the bullpen. I felt like I let the guys down."

It was the eighth loss in nine games for the Royals, who are 5-8 against the AL Central division leaders.

"It seems like every game we play here is like this," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "We're a pitch away or a hit away from a win. This is a tough loss."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    KANSAS CITY 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 4 9 1
    CLEVELAND 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 1 5 6 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: KAN - BRIAN BANNISTER, JOEL PERALTA (7TH), JOHN BALE (7TH), DAVID
    RISKE (8TH) AND JOHN BUCK, JASON LARUE (9TH)
    CLE - C.C. SABATHIA, RAFAEL BETANCOURT (8TH), JOE
    BO

    Sep 14 10:11 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CASEY BLAKE (16) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    9TH OFF DAVID RISKE.
    FINAL SCORE: CLEVELAND 5, KANSAS CITY 4

    Royals vs. IndiansSep 14 10:11 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 25 roots (Close Finish)

    Royals vs. IndiansSep 14 10:11 PM
  • 60
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 60 roots (Close Finish)

    Royals vs. IndiansSep 14 9:55 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY VICTOR MARTINEZ (22) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 8TH OFF DAVID RISKE.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 4, CLEVELAND 4
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: R GARKO (.295, 1-FOR-3)

    Royals vs. IndiansSep 14 9:48 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY FRANKLIN GUTIERREZ (12) TO LEFT WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 7TH OFF JOEL PERALTA SCORED KENNY LOFTON.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 4, CLEVELAND 3
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: C BLAKE (.266, 0-FOR-2)

    Royals vs. IndiansSep 14 9:21 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MIKE SWEENEY SCORED MARK GRUDZIELANEK.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, M SWEENEY ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 4
    CLEVELAND 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: B BUTLER (.296, 1-FOR-2)

    Royals vs. IndiansSep 14 8:37 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK GRUDZIELANEK SCORED TONY PENA JR AND DAVID
    DEJESUS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, M GRUDZIELANEK ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 3
    CLEVELAND 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: M SWEENEY (.261, 0-FOR-2)

    Royals vs. IndiansSep 14 8:36 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DAVID DEJESUS SCORED EMIL BROWN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D DEJESUS ON FIRST, T PENA JR ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 1
    CLEVELAND 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: M GRUDZIELANEK (.299, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Royals vs. IndiansSep 14 8:33 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY TRAVIS HAFNER SCORED GRADY SIZEMORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, T HAFNER ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 0
    CLEVELAND 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: V MARTINEZ (.307, 21 HR, 102 RBI)

    Royals vs. IndiansSep 14 7:25 PM