for this game

Bannister shuts down Indians

Jun 1, 2008 - 10:41 PM By Alan Eskew PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- Brian Bannister made sure the Kansas City Royals did not start another losing streak.

One day after the Royals snapped a 12-game skid, Bannister (5-6) held Cleveland to one run and five hits over 7 1/3 innings in a 6-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.

"The starting pitcher is the most critical role in any baseball game, so we were all trying to end it (skid) ourselves," Bannister said. "It's nice to go out there and not have a streak on the line, to pitch relaxed, to see everybody smiling and having fun. It was a lot better feeling today."

Jose Guillen, Mark Grudzielanek and Alex Gordon each drove in two runs and combined to score four runs in support of Bannister.

Guillen, who had three hits, homered to lead off the second and had a run-producing single in the third.

"It was like a half-swing," Guillen said. "I never thought it was going to go. It looks like in a day game that the ball travels better than in a night game."

The slugger leads the Royals with seven home runs and 38 RBI this season.

"It's always good when you jump on top because most of the games we've been losing we're always behind," Guillen said. "The whole offense today, we were swinging the bat well. After (Saturday's win), hopefully things will start turning around here."

Grudzielanek, who is a career .314 hitter with three home runs off Indians starter Paul Byrd, homered in the fifth with David DeJesus aboard. It was Grudzielanek's first home run since September 24, a span of 172 at-bats.

Gordon stroked a two-run double in the third when the Royals scored three runs off Byrd (2-5) with two outs. Gordon's opposite-field double scored Alberto Callaspo, who had singled, and Grudzielanek, who was hit by a pitch.

"Everybody in the lineup produced," Gordon said. "I haven't been swinging it well, but I was happy to get the big hit for us. We were a lot more loose and had a lot more energy and played more free. Having that losing streak off our back helped."

Byrd dropped to 1-5 with a 5.74 earned run average in 10 career starts against Kansas City. The righthander, who was a 17-game winner in 2002 for the Royals, was pulled after surrendering six runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings.

"I didn't pitch well and the timing was horrible," Byrd said. "Get credit to the Royals. They hit some good pitches. You can't give up and you have to go back out and battle. I'm really disappointed in the way I pitched. It is a struggle mentally. It's frustrating when we lose with a team we all feel should be winning more games. It's frustrating to not put up more Ws."

The Indians have lost 12 of 15 games to drop six games below .500.

"We've got to get better and I've got to pitch better than what I threw today," Byrd said. "All the pieces are there. It's just a question of letting it all come together. You can't panic and press, but you do know you can't let the hole get any deeper. We need to turn it around. That's what's so frustrating about today. I had a chance to go out there and turn it around.

"There's no magic formula. We know what we need to do. There's no magic speech someone can make. When you turn it around and get on a hot streak again everybody can point to what day that happened and what made it happen. We're still searching for a hot streak to get things turned around our way. I don't know how to make that happen."

Bannister, who is 5-1 with a 2.16 ERA in six day starts, picked up only his second victory since April 13. In six night starts, Bannister is 0-5 with a 7.71 ERA.

"I don't have an explanation," Bannister said of his contrasting stats in day and night games. "I go out and pitch the same way every time out. I try and control what I can control and pitch well every time."

Bannister lost his shutout when Grady Sizemore homered with one out in the eighth. Bannister, who was replaced by Ramon Ramirez, threw 72 strikes in 103 pitches. The Indians did not have a runner reach third base before Sizemore's home run, his 11th.

"I wanted to have a positive outing because that's how I get on a roll," Bannister said. "Mentally, I just want to walk away from this game and say, 'That's a good outing, let's go do it again.' I wanted to get some positive momentum going and I think I accomplished that today.

"With that run support, I pitched the way I wanted to pitch, let them hit the ball. It's fun when you have that lead and you can pitch that way because the other team gets frustrated. There's nothing more frustrated than to continue hit the ball and keep getting outs. I just pitched my game. I really wanted to go deep because we used we've used our bullpen a lot lately."

Indians manager Eric Wedge said his club "squared a lot of balls up."

"They played excellent defense," Wedge said. "We could have had 11 or 12 hits. Bannister did a good job with his breaking ball and a good job with his cutter. And of course he's always around the plate. We had some good at-bats. We had some bad ones, too, but I think we had some good at-bats and we just don't have much to show for it.

"You can't give in here just because the results aren't there yet. You have to keep fighting through it."








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

    BATTERIES: CLE - C.C. SABATHIA AND VICTOR MARTINEZ
    KAN - KYLE DAVIES, RON MAHAY (6TH), JOEL PERALTA (7TH),
    JOAKIM SORIA (8TH) AND JOHN BUCK

    HOME RUNS: CLE - NONE
    KAN - DAVID

    May 31 9:57 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY DAVID DELLUCCI SCORED JHONNY PERALTA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A CABRERA ON SECOND, C BLAKE ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 2
    KANSAS CITY 4 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: G SIZEMORE (.255, 0-FOR-4)

    Indians 2, Royals 4  Top 8, 0 OutsMay 31 9:39 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK GRUDZIELANEK SCORED DAVID DEJESUS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, M GRUDZIELANEK ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 1
    KANSAS CITY 4 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: A GORDON (.284, 0-FOR-2)

    Indians 1, Royals 4  Bot 5, 0 OutsMay 31 8:46 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY DAVID DEJESUS SCORED JOHN BUCK.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, D DEJESUS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 1
    KANSAS CITY 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: M GRUDZIELANEK (.293, 1-FOR-2)

    Indians 1, Royals 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsMay 31 8:43 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY JOEY GATHRIGHT SCORED MARK TEAHEN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BUCK ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 1
    KANSAS CITY 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: D DEJESUS (.287, 1-FOR-2, HR, RBI)

    Indians 1, Royals 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsMay 31 8:42 PM
  • 34
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 34 roots

    Indians 1, Royals 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsMay 31 8:42 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY DAVID DEJESUS (4) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF C.C. SABATHIA.
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 1, KANSAS CITY 1
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: M GRUDZIELANEK (.295, 1-FOR-1)

    Indians 1, Royals 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsMay 31 8:02 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JAMEY CARROLL SCORED FRANKLIN GUTIERREZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J CARROLL ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 1
    KANSAS CITY 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: B FRANCISCO (.306, 0-FOR-1)

    Indians 1, Royals 0  Top 3, 0 OutsMay 31 7:48 PM