for this game

Royals deny Indians' bid for home field throughout playoffs

Sep 30, 2007 - 3:44 AM By Marc Bowman PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) - Joey Gathright helped the Cleveland Indians a little on Saturday, but it wasn't enough as Kansas City Royals pulled out a 4-3 victory.

The Indians (95-66) fell a game behind the Boston Red Sox (96-65) in the race for the American League's best record.

Boston won, 6-4, against Minnesota earlier on Saturday, clinching home-field advantage throughout the playoffs since it holds the tiebreaker over Cleveland.

"We were shooting to have the best record, but that's the way it goes," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "It just wasn't meant to be."

Gathright made up for a fielding gaffe with a two-out single to score pinch runner Justin Huber in the eighth inning to break a 3-3 tie.

"The throw pushed Victor back a little, but Kenny (Lofton) made a good throw," Wedge said. "It was a bang-bang play. The baserunner did a good job on the slide to go around Victor."

"Joey has a knack for getting the bat on the ball," Royals manager Buddy Bell said.

Mark Teahen got the scoring started for the Royals in the first inning with a double down the right field line to score David DeJesus. After a wild pitch scored Mark Grudzielanek, Teahen came home on Alex Gordon's sacrifice fly to give the Kansas City a 3-0 advantage.

Cleveland got a pair of gift runs in the third when Victor Martinez lofted a two-out fly to left which Gathright lost in the lights. It fell untouched as Casey Blake and Asdrubal Cabrera scored to cut the Royals' lead to 3-2.

Gathright later nailed Ryan Garko at the plate to end the sixth inning as Garko tried to score from second on Jhonny Peralta's single.

After Cabrera and Travis Hafner reached on base hits to start the eighth, Martinez slapped a ground ball through the hole into right field, scoring Cabrera to tie the game at 3-3.

As has been the case for most of the season, the Royals gave starting pitcher Gil Meche little support, plating three first-inning runs but failing to score again for him.

"Gil deserves more wins," Bell said. "But he was exactly what we thought he would be."

In his final start of the season, Meche threw six innings, striking out a season-high seven while allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks. The righthander finished the year with a career-best 3.67 ERA and matched last year's strikeout total of 156.

Joakim Soria (2-3) pitched two innings with two strikeouts for the victory.

"Our bullpen again saved the day," Bell said. "They've given us good work almost all the year."

"(Franklin) Gutierrez was the toughest out," Soria said. "He's a very good hitter."

Pitching on his 30th birthday, Jake Westbrook made his last regular season start in preparation for a likely matchup against the New York Yankees in the third game of the American League Division Series.

"I'll prepare accordingly," Westbrook said of having more than a week between Saturday's start and his playoff outing. "They have a very good lineup. It's all about being prepared and not making mistakes. You definitely have to be on top of your game, but then you have to be anytime in the playoffs."

The righthander pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and three runs while walking one and striking out five.

"Jake did a good job," Wedge said. "He had to work himself into it a little. But he did a better job of mixing and matching his pitches and he got stronger as he went along. I was real pleased with what we saw from Jake today."

"He had a rough first inning," Martinez said. "But he settled down and started making his pitches. He gave us a pretty good shot to win this game."

Rafael Perez (1-2) allowed two hits, a walk and one run in one inning of relief to get the loss.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CLEVELAND 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 11 0
    KANSAS CITY 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 x 4 10 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CLE - JAKE WESTBROOK, RAFAEL PEREZ (7TH), JENSEN LEWIS (8TH) AND
    VICTOR MARTINEZ
    KAN - GIL MECHE, JOHN BALE (7TH), DAVID RISKE (7TH),
    JIMMY GOBBLE (7TH), JOAKIM SO

    Sep 29 10:18 PM
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    Indians vs. RoyalsSep 29 10:14 PM
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    Indians vs. RoyalsSep 29 10:10 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOEY GATHRIGHT SCORED JUSTIN HUBER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J GATHRIGHT ON FIRST, A GORDON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 3
    KANSAS CITY 4 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: T PENA JR (.267, 2-FOR-3)

    Indians vs. RoyalsSep 29 10:09 PM
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    jkirsch Added 5 roots

    Indians vs. RoyalsSep 29 9:51 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY VICTOR MARTINEZ SCORED ASDRUBAL CABRERA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, V MARTINEZ ON FIRST, T HAFNER ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 3
    KANSAS CITY 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: R GARKO (.291, 1-FOR-3)

    Indians vs. RoyalsSep 29 9:44 PM
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    Indians vs. RoyalsSep 29 8:17 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY VICTOR MARTINEZ SCORED CASEY BLAKE AND ASDRUBAL
    CABRERA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, V MARTINEZ ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 2
    KANSAS CITY 3 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: R GARKO (.290, 0-FOR-1)

    Indians vs. RoyalsSep 29 8:13 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ALEX GORDON SCORED MARK TEAHEN.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, R GLOAD ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 0
    KANSAS CITY 3 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: J BUCK (.224, 18 HR, 48 RBI)

    Indians vs. RoyalsSep 29 7:36 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY JAKE WESTBROOK ALLOWED MARK GRUDZIELANEK TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R GLOAD ON FIRST, M TEAHEN ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 0
    KANSAS CITY 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: A GORDON (.248, 0-FOR-0)

    Indians vs. RoyalsSep 29 7:34 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MARK TEAHEN SCORED DAVID DEJESUS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M TEAHEN ON SECOND, M GRUDZIELANEK ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 0
    KANSAS CITY 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: M SWEENEY (.260, 7 HR, 38 RBI)

    Indians vs. RoyalsSep 29 7:28 PM
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