for this game

Lee wins 21st, Indians top Royals

Sep 7, 2008 - 11:17 PM By Marc Bowman PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- Cliff Lee won his 10th straight decision to become baseball's first 21-game winner as the Cleveland Indians defeated the Kansas City Royals, 3-1, on Sunday.

Lee (21-2), who improved to 9-0 since the All-Star break, allowed just one run, seven hits and one walk while fanning five over 7 1/3 innings.

The 30-year-old lefthander joined Ron Guidry (1978) as the only pitchers in the last 50 years to win 21 of their first 23 decisions.

"His command has really been the separator for him this year," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "When they do create innings, he is able to nip it in the bud and control the game. When you have a close game like today, that's the difference. You make pitches or they're going to score runs."

"I want to focus on each game and get as deep as I can in each start," Lee said. "I had the same mindset today as I've had the whole season, and I will have the rest of the year. I'm making a conscious effort to keep my mind in the moment. It helps to have success and when something is working there is no need to change it."

Cleveland took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out, two-run single by Victor Martinez, who fouled off five two-strike pitches before driving in Shin-Soo Choo and Jhonny Peralta.

"On 3-2, I don't try to do much, but just put the barrel of the bat on the ball and see what happens," Martinez said. "Zack Greinke is a pretty good pitcher. I was just fouling pitches and he was making good pitches and I finally got a good pitch to hit. On 3-2 they were running, so I'll take some of those (RBI)."

Martinez also plated Choo with a sixth-inning double, pushing the Indians' advantage to 3-0. His three RBI matched a season high, and he has driven in five over his last two games.

"We got a couple of runs in the first and that eased the tension," Lee said. "It allowed me to focus on making my pitches."

The early run support was enough for Lee, who allowed just four runners past first base and lowered his major league-leading ERA to 2.28. Lee has won each of his four starts against the Royals this year and is 9-1 against American League Central Division foes.

"I was throwing strikes for the most part," Lee said. "A couple of innings I struggled getting the ball over the plate. I made some mistakes 0-and-2 and 1-and-2, and they got a couple of hits, but I also got kind of lucky with them hitting it at somebody."

Choo, who has reached base safely in 27 straight games, had a pair of hits for the Indians, extending his hitting streak to 11 games.

Rafael Perez and Rafael Betancourt escaped an eighth-inning jam before Jensen Lewis finished off the Royals with a scoreless ninth to earn his eighth save in nine chances, as the Indians won their 11th road game out of their last 12.

Alberto Callaspo's two-out single drove in Jose Guillen with the Kansas City's lone run in the sixth, cutting Cleveland's lead to 3-1. Guillen and Mark Teahen each had two of the Royals' eight hits.

"I liked our approach overall," Kansas City manager Trey Hillman said. "Lee has the ability to make pitches when he needs to, but it's tough to get recognition against a guy who has that kind of stuff and is able to locate it so well. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get the big hit."

Greinke (10-10) picked up the loss despite tossing the sixth quality start out in his last eight games. The 24-year-old righthander pitched six innings, allowing three runs, five hits and two walks with eight strikeouts.

"It looked like they knew what was coming, with the stuff Zack has and the swings they were getting," Hillman said. "I didn't think Zack was that far off on his command. They had some really good at-bats off him and they got his pitch count up in the first, and it kind of dominoed from there."








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

    BATTERIES: CLE - CLIFF LEE, RAFAEL PEREZ (8TH), RAFAEL BETANCOURT (8TH), JENSEN
    LEWIS (9TH) AND KELLY SHOPPACH
    KAN - ZACK GREINKE, LEO NUNEZ (7TH), JOHN BALE (7TH),
    ROBINSON

    Sep 7 5:03 PM
  • 5
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Indians 3, Royals 1  Top 7, 0 OutsSep 7 4:07 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ALBERTO CALLASPO SCORED JOSE GUILLEN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A CALLASPO ON FIRST, J BUCK ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 3
    KANSAS CITY 1 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: E GERMAN (.249, 1-FOR-2)

    Indians 3, Royals 1  Bot 6, 0 OutsSep 7 3:56 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY VICTOR MARTINEZ SCORED SHIN-SOO CHOO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, V MARTINEZ ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 3
    KANSAS CITY 0 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: R GARKO (.251, 0-FOR-2)

    Indians 3, Royals 0  Top 6, 0 OutsSep 7 3:43 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: CLE - CLIFF LEE
    KAN - ZACK GREINKE

    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: D DEJESUS (.300, 10 HR, 63 RBI)
    M AVILES (.329, 7 HR, 39 RBI)
    J GUILLEN (.252, 18 HR, 86 RBI)

    Indians 2, Royals 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 7 2:24 PM