KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—When Abbie Blake didn’t give birth over the weekend, her husband went back to work and delivered for the Cleveland Indians.
After missing three games to be with his wife in Indiana, Casey Blake homered in both ends of a doubleheader and drove in seven runs, powering Cleveland to a 10-5 victory in the opener over Kansas City on Monday night and an 8-5 win in the nightcap.
“I was lucky,” he said. “I was worried that my timing might be off, after missing three days. But I got a lucky (hit) to drop in and that helped my confidence.”
Blake had three hits, including a two-run homer, in the nightcap. In the opener, he hit his first career grand slam and drove in five runs for the Indians, who combined for 31 hits in the two games after scoring only three runs while being swept in three games by the Royals in Cleveland last week.
Blake had five hits on the day as the Indians got their first doubleheader sweep since Sept. 20, 2000, in Boston.
“Casey’s been doing a pretty consistent job for us all year,” Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. “But today he really felt comfortable and drove the ball all over the place.”
Blake’s two homers raised his season total to eight and stretched his hitting streak to 11 games.
“I was just trying to get a little timing back and see the ball,” he said. “I got lucky today. Hitting’s a lot of luck.
In the meantime, Abbie is back in Indianola, Iowa, still waiting for the birth.
“She thought she was going into labor,” he said. “We thought it was the real thing. But as soon as I got there, things sort of calmed down. I got a call and they said, `We’ve got a doubleheader. You’ve got to be here.’ But I was ready to come back because there wasn’t anything I could do there.”
The Royals have lost four straight to fall out of first place in the AL Central, giving up 44 runs in the skid.
His replacement, Les Walrond (0-2) , was tagged for four runs and five hits in just one-third of an inning. Jody Gerut and Tim Laker each hit two-run homers. The only out Walrond recorded was when Blake was thrown out at third on an attempted double steal.
“I’ve had bad ballgames before,” Walrond said. “I knew I had all the time I needed, but I’ve always been kind of impatient. My balls were up, and big league hitters are going to hit you then.”
In the opener, Cliff Lee got his first major league victory before being shipped back to Triple-A Buffalo. The left-hander, who went six-plus innings and gave up three hits and two unearned runs, had been told he would go right back down after the one start.
“I gave them six quality innings,” Lee said. “They told me coming in it would be one start and then go out. So If I leave, that’s what I expected.”
Blake also had a sacrifice fly for a career-high five RBIs. Matt Lawton was 3-for-4 with two doubles and a single, and Milton Bradley and Jody Gerut each drove in two runs.
Brad Voyles (0-1), recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Omaha to make his first start of the season, gave up four runs and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings. He, too, was told after the game that he was headed right back to Triple-A.
“He showed me some good things,” Royals manager Tony Pena said. “He’ll be back up.”
The Indians were leading 6-2 in the eighth inning of the opener when Blake connected off Kris Wilson for his first career slam.
“The last three days we’ve been hitting the ball hard but making outs.We’ve got to keep this up,” Wedge said.
Cleveland SS John McDonald, who’s been experiencing back spasms, was a last-minute scratch in the nightcap with a back strain and was later placed on the 15-day DL. The Indians recalled infielder Jhonny Peralta from Buffalo. … The Indians are 3-8 against the Royals this year. … With runners at second and third and two outs, Michael Tucker ended the Cleveland fourth in the opener with a great diving catch of Brandon Phillips’ sinking liner into right field. … Royals’ RHP Runelvys Hernandez, who’s been on the DL since May 17 with inflammation of the pitching elbow, will throw on the side Tuesday and be re-evaluated. … Cleveland starters have gone at least five innings in thelast 19 games.