The Royals’ first-inning total was a club record and they also blew their biggest lead in a loss. They finished with a season-high 19 hits, setting the team record for most hits in a loss. The Royals led 10-1 after the first inning.
“The word is unbelievable,” said Byrd, who was charged with nine of Kansas City’s 10 first-inning runs. “I really don’t know what to say. It was incredible. I’m in shock that our team came back.”
The Royals also were stunned.
“It was a heartbreaker for sure,” said Mike Sweeney, who had four RBIs, including a three-run homer in the first. “They just kept creeping back, creeping back, creeping back.”
Grady Sizemore was hit by a pitch from Kansas City’s Andrew Sisco (1-3) leading off the 10th. He moved to second on a sacrifice and scored on Garko’s two-out single to center. Luna added a run-scoring single to make it 15-13 and finished with four RBIs.
“It was like climbing a mountain, and you finally get to the top,” said Garko, whose error at first base led to six unearned runs in the first.
“It’s a tough game, but it’s a fun game.”
Getting down 10-1 may actually have given the Indians a chance to regroup mentally, Garko said.
“In a way, it relaxed us. We had nothing to lose, so we just went out there and swung. We didn’t throw in the towel. We battled and drove balls,” he said.
Kansas City led 13-9 going into the ninth but the Indians rallied. Garko, Luna and Victor Martinez hit RBI doubles off Joe Nelson and pinch-hitter Shin-Soo Choo’s RBI triple off Ambiorix Burgos tied it.
“Forget 10-1,” said Byrd. “We were down by four runs in the ninth. It’s just unbelievable.”
Burgos blew his 12th save. Sweeney and Mark Grudzielanek each homered in the Royals’ 10-run first.
Cleveland also staged a similar rally in Kansas City last season, scoring 11 runs in the ninth to beat Kansas City 13-7 on Aug. 9, 2005.
“We’ve had some to tough battles with Kansas City,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “They don’t quit and they keep getting better.”
Sweeney went 4-for-6 and Mark Teahen was 4-for-5 for Kansas City, tying the club record with hits in eight consecutive plate appearances. Teahen walked in his fifth at-bat and then struck out in the ninth.
Jorge De La Rosa, handed a 10-1 lead after the first inning, was lifted with one out in the fourth. He gave up six runs and six hits, including solo home runs by Travis Hafner in the first and Sizemore and Aaron Boone back-to-back in the third.
Garko’s error allowed Grudzielanek, the second batter of the first inning, to reach.
Sweeney hit a three-run homer, his first since April 28, for a 4-1 lead. Then after three more runs had scored—including two on Joey Gathright’s triple — Grudzielanek’s two-run homer made it 9-1.
The Royals sent 15 batters to the plate in the first and DeJesus, Teahen, Sweeney and Brown all had two hits in the inning.
It was the most runs the Indians have allowed in the first inning since they surrendered 11 against Minnesota on July 18, 1962. It broke the Royals’ record of nine runs in the first, which had been done twice, most recently against Oakland in 1993.
The Royals had not scored 10 runs in any inning since they scored 10 in the fifth against the New York Yankees on Sept. 13, 2004.
“It’s a pretty awesome comeback,” Boone said. “But we’re a team that can score runs in bunches.”
Every Cleveland batter had at least one extra-base hit. … The Royals record of hits in eight consecutive plate appearances is also shared by Sweeney and Joe Randa.