Royals 6, Indians 5
Lima took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning before Cleveland rallied, and Sweeney hit his second homer of the game to break a tie in the eighth, leading the Kansas City Royals a 6-5 win over the Indians on Sunday.
“Every time I come here, I have a special feeling,” said Sweeney, who got his first major league hit at the ballpark in 1995 and is a .348 career hitter with 12 homers and 42 RBIs in Cleveland. “I really love playing here.”
Sweeney hit a 1-2 pitch from Rafael Betancourt (1-1) into the left-field bleachers to break a 5-all tie and help the Royals win consecutive games for the first time since Sept. 17-18 in Cleveland. The win was Kansas City’s third in 15 games overall.
“Even when we were down, we were confident that we could come back,” Sweeney said.
Cleveland lost for the fifth time in six games, falling to 3-9 in one-run games and 3-8 at Jacobs Field. The Indians’ major league-worst batting average dropped to .225.
“Everything is magnified because we’re not hitting,” manager Eric Wedge said.
Lima held Cleveland hitless for the first five innings—then gave up five runs and couldn’t get out of the sixth.
“If I get through that inning, I would have had a no-hitter,” Lima said. “But I went from glory to disaster.”
Hafner appeared to yell a few words as he circled the bases—though he insisted they were not in response to Lima’s animated gestures earlier when he got key outs.
“I was just pumped that we were back in the game and sometimes I just yell stuff and I don’t even know what it is,” Hafner said. “A pitcher’s job is to get a hitter out of rhythm, and if his antics cause you to get mad, it works. We knew that. He pitched pretty good until that inning.”
Jose Hernandez then singled and Ben Broussard walked. After Casey Blake lined out to center, Grady Sizemore hit a 1-2 pitch over the wall in right-center field for his third homer and a 5-all tie, knocking Lima out of the game.
“I feel bad about it because my teammates gave me a lead and I couldn’t hold it,” Lima said. “But I’m not going to let one inning ruin my year.”
Sweeney hit his third homer in the first inning.
“It would be nice to go 1-2-3 in the first inning at some point in my career,” Elarton said. “I made three mistakes and booted a ball today, and paid for every one of them.”
Matt Stairs doubled home an unearned run and Buck made it 4-0 in the fourth with a two-run homer after Elarton dropped a throw at first base for an error to put the leadoff batter aboard.
Long hit his first homer in the sixth.
Elarton gave up three earned runs and six hits over six innings, walking one and striking out six.
Lima allowed five runs and four hits in 5 2-3 innings, walking four and striking out two.
Sweeney has hit .327 with 19 homers and 74 RBIs against the Indians. … Lima hit Alex Cora in the leg with a pitch in the first inning. The two, who were teammates in Los Angeles in 2004, glared at each other before Cora jogged to first base. “No, there was nothing to it, it didn’t even hurt,” Cora said. … Sweeney went 1-for-2 with a walk off Elarton and is 7-for-14 with two homers against the right-hander. … Blake went 0-for-4 and is in a 1-for-25 (.040) slump. … Royals 2B Ruben Gotay broke an 0-for-17 streak with a seventh-inning single.