Before the ninth, Cleveland held on to a precarious one-run lead.
“In a one-run ballgame headed into the ninth inning, especially as crazy as the games have been in this ballpark, between us and Kansas City, that was real big for us,” Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said.
Wednesday night, the Indians came back from a 10-1 first inning deficit to defeat Kansas City 15-13. Last season, they scored 11 runs to beat the Royals in the ninth.
“I don’t know how many times that team has done that to us, but plenty,” said Royals manager Buddy Bell. “It seems like we just can’t stop the bleeding when they start hitting and scoring and things like that.”
C.C. Sabathia (9-8) allowed four runs—three earned—and 11 hits in eight innings, striking out seven and walking two.
“He was strong, and he was adamant about going out there after I talked to him after the seventh,” Wedge said.
Marte’s RBI double in the eighth drove in Jhonny Peralta for a 5-4 lead. It was the only hit off Jimmy Gobble (3-5) and the run was unearned because Peralta reached on shortstop Angel Berroa’s throwing error. Marte was 3-for-4 and reached base four times.
“I was ready for the mistakes,” Marte said.
After Martinez and Garko homered on consecutive pitches by Ambiorix Burgos, Franklin Gutierrez added an RBI single. Burgos, who blew his 12th save Wednesday night, gave up four hits and three runs while getting only two outs.
“I tell you what I’m going to do, I’m just going to keep sending him out there,” said Bell. “That’s what I’m going to do.”
Hector Luna, who had four RBIs in Wednesday’s win, hit a run-scoring grounder in the second, but Mike Sweeney’s RBI single tied it in the third. Luna hit an RBI single in the fourth and scored on Marte’s two-run double— Cleveland’s fifth straight hit—but Sweeney pulled the Royals to 4-3 with a two-run homer in the bottom half. Cleveland acquired Luna from St. Louis July 30.
“Even though he’s had results the last couple games his at-bats have been beyond that,” Wedge said. “I think he’s starting to feel like he belongs over here.”
Sweeney, who missed 88 games while on the disabled list with a bulging disk in his back, has homered in consecutive games after not hitting any since April 28.
“I’ll just keep grinding. I don’t do it for the boos. I don’t do it for the cheers. I just go out and play my heart out every night,” he said.
Ryan Shealy’s RBI single tied the score in the sixth.
Royals 1B Doug Mientkiewicz is to have season-ending back surgery Aug. 29. Dr. Robert Watkins will operate in Los Angeles. Mientkiewicz has been on the DL since July 26. … Travis Hafner singled in the third to stretch his career-high hitting streak to 14 straight games. … The Royals turned two double plays and lead the majors with 155. … OF Franklin Gutierrez will be sent to Triple-A Buffalo to make room for OF Casey Blake who’s coming off the DL.