Kansas City (55-90) at Cleveland (68-75)

Snow Currently: Cleveland, OH
Temp: 34° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Wed Sep 13, 2006
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A day after their pitcher and catcher threw punches at each other, the Kansas City Royals hope to sweep a two-game series from the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.

Runelvys Hernandez struck out Cleveland’s Ryan Garko to end the third inning of the Royals’ 5-3 win on Tuesday, but as he jogged to the dugout he began to point and shout at catcher John Buck.

The two charged at each other and threw punches before teammates and coaches separated them.

They stayed in the game and Hernandez got the win, snapping the Royals’ 11-game losing streak at Jacobs Field.

“It’s September and there was some sort of misunderstanding,” Royals manager Buddy Bell said. “Something was said and both guys are extremely competitive, but they have to have a little more poise. We met and straightened things out.”

Kansas City (55-90) hopes it can sweep the series without the extra festivities, as Jorge De La Rosa (2-2, 5.57 ERA) gets the start. The left-hander had his last outing on Sept. 5 cut short due to a blister on his middle finger.

On Sept. 5, he held the New York Yankees to six hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 5-0 win before the injury flared up.

“I noticed he was starting to look at his finger and wiping his finger on his pants,” Bell said.

Kansas City acquired De La Rosa in a trade from the Milwaukee Brewers on July 25—the day he came off the disabled list after missing more than six weeks with the same ailment.

While with Kansas City, he has struggled in two starts against the Indians, allowing 10 runs in 9 1-3 innings for a 9.64 ERA. He did not factor in either decision.

The Indians (68-75) will counter with Jake Westbrook (12-9, 4.22), who is tied for the team lead in wins with Cliff Lee.

Westbrook allowed all three runs in the third inning, and surrendered 11 hits over six in a 3-2 loss to Toronto on Sept. 6.

“That’s the nature of being a sinkerball pitcher,” the right-hander said. “Some games they’re going to hit it right at guys, and sometimes they’re not. Tonight was one of those nights that they didn’t.”

Westbrook threw a six-hitter in a 5-0 victory over Kansas City on May 17, and is 5-1 with a 2.32 ERA and two complete games in nine starts dating back to Sept. 17, 2003.

Westbrook may want to be careful pitching to Kansas City’s Esteban German.

German, who went 4-for-4 with three runs and an RBI on Tuesday, is hitting .351 in his last 43 games after a 2-for-27 (.074) slump.

Two of his hits in Tuesday’s win came when he led off an inning and is hitting .370 in 54 at-bats when leading off.

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Starting Pitchers

J. De La Rosa Col vs. J. Westbrook StL
5-6 Record 15-10
6.49 ERA 4.17
67 K 109
54 BB 55
1.71 WHIP 1.43


Wednesday, Sep 13