Indians 13, Royals 7

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—The Cleveland Indians could barely believe what they were watching in the ninth inning.

Kansas City took a five-run lead into the ninth and was on the verge of snapping a 10-game losing streak, but the Indians sent 14 men to the plate and scored 11 runs to rally for a 13-7 victory Tuesday night over the bumbling Royals.

Jhonny Peralta’s three-run homer capped the inning after Angel Berroa, Chip Ambres and Emil Brown all made errors. Eight of the runs in the inning were unearned.

“They kind of gave it to us,” said Casey Blake, who led off the ninth with a double. “Obviously, they cut their own throats. You won’t see that too often, big leaguers dropping a ball, let alone two in one inning.

“Any time you get some big hits and the defense is giving you more outs, things like that can happen. It looked pretty bleak when you’re down five runs and their closer comes in.”

The Royals are one loss shy of the longest skid in franchise history, set from June 28-July 13, 1997.

“It was a crazy game,” Indians manager Eric Wedge. “It was really two different games. That’s the reason you play all the way through.”

Aaron Boone doubled in the go-ahead run in the inning. Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner also had ninth-inning doubles.

“That one was gift-wrapped, but when you score 11 runs in an inning you’ve got to do a lot of things right,” Boone said. “It was pretty wild in the dugout. It was a pretty exciting atmosphere. It was like a little kid’s feeling. We were giddy. You can’t believe what’s happening.”

Berroa failed to catch a popup that allowed a run to score, and Ambres dropped pinch-hitter Jeff Liefer’s fly ball to the warning track in left that would have ended the game. That tied it, and Boone followed with his double to make it 8-7.

“When I first hit, I thought it might have a chance (to go out),” Liefer said. “Then I saw him sitting under and said, ‘darn it, I just missed it.’ Then I saw it clink off his glove and I was happy again.”

Said Ambres, “I just dropped it. There’s no excuses. I’ve got to make that play. The inning was snowballing on us. I’ve got to make that catch. It just went in and out (of my glove).”

Two more runs scored when Brown kicked away Sizemore’s single—his second hit of the inning—and Peralta followed a walk to Coco Crisp with his homer.

“It just didn’t make any sense to me,” Royals manager Buddy Bell said. “I’ve never played, managed or coached a game like that. To see a big league game like that is unheard of. I’ve never seen anything like that. I hope I don’t see it again.”

Mike MacDougal (2-4), the fifth of six Royals pitchers, allowed seven runs— five earned—while recording just two outs in the ninth. Scott Sauerbeck (1-0) picked up the victory.

“My job is to get the next guy,” MacDougal said after the errors. “I didn’t do the job.”

Mike Sweeney hit a three-run homer and Mike Wood pitched 5 2-3 solid innings as the Royals led 7-2 going into the ninth. Wood, who began the season in the bullpen before being optioned to Triple-A Omaha last month to make two starts, held the Indians to eight hits and one run.

“Today was embarrassing,” Sweeney said. “I’ve never seen one get away like that we were winning by that much and we got our stud (MacDougal) on the hill. I’ve never seen one like that in my 10 years. It was a heartbreaking loss.”

Crisp, who had three hits and scored four runs, tripled in the third and scored on Peralta’s single for the only run off Wood.

Brown drove in two runs for the Royals with a first-inning single and a fifth-inning double.

Berroa had three hits, including a homer to lead off the eighth. But his first error in the eighth helped the Indians score a run off Jeremy Affeldt.

Royals designated hitter Matt Stairs strained his left calf running the bases in the first inning. Joe McEwing hit for Stairs, who is listed as day to day, in the second inning.


Royals Hall of Fame 3B George Brett, who is a club vice president, was in uniform before the game and threw batting practice. … Brian Tallet, who replaced Lee, made his first big league appearance since July 21, 2003. He was recalled on July 26 from Triple-A Buffalo but did not pitch before Tuesday. … The Indians are 13-5 since July 22.

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