Thome extends on-base streak to 54 games


CLEVELAND (AP) -- Jim Thome saw just one pitch clearly in the
late-afternoon shadows. That was all he needed.

Thome tied the game with his 52nd homer, a three-run shot in the
eighth inning, and the Cleveland Indians went on to beat the Kansas
City Royals 6-5 in 10 innings Saturday.

"I was having trouble seeing because of the shadows,'' Thome
said. "He threw one curve that I'm lucky didn't hit me because I
never saw it. I saw the one I hit good, though.''

Royals starter Runelvys Hernandez left with a 5-2 lead in the
eighth after twisting his right knee while delivering a pitch that
Coco Crisp hit for a leadoff single.

"He had a little problem with his right knee,'' Royals manager
Tony Pena said. "He's a young guy, and we didn't want to take a

Omar Vizquel singled off the glove of reliever Jeremy Affeldt,
and Thome homered on a 3-2 pitch, extending his team record for
homers in a season.

"I threw a 1-2 curve right where I wanted and the ump called it
a ball,'' Affeldt said. "I threw a 3-2 fastball right where he
(Thome) wanted, and he hit a home run.''

Thome, who had four RBI, has reached safely by hit or walk in
54 consecutive games, two short of the longest streak in the majors
this season, by San Diego's Ryan Klesko.

Vizquel walked against Mike MacDougal (0-1) leading off the 10th
and took second on a wild pitch. Thome was intentionally walked,
Vizquel stole third without a throw and pinch-hitter Ellis Burks
had an RBI grounder to shortstop, where Angel Berroa allowed the
ball to roll off his glove for an error.

"You walk that first guy, it seems like they always score
somehow,'' MacDougal said.

Mark Wohlers (3-4) pitched a scoreless 10th, helping drop the
Royals to 62-99 with one game remaining.

Kansas City's Mike Sweeney went 0-for-4, dropping his average
from .343 to .340. Boston's Manny Ramirez began Saturday with a
league-leading .347 average.

Sweeney fouled a ball off his right foot in his last at-bat.

"It's pretty sore,'' the first baseman said. "I can barely
walk on it. We'll see if I can play tomorrow.''

The Indians honored Charles Nagy in pregame ceremonies, and the
right-hander made his 313th and likely last appearance in a
Cleveland uniform when he relieved in the eighth inning.

He received a standing ovation when he took the mound and
another when he struck out Berroa and Kit Pellow to end the inning.

"Well, that was better than being hit around and being taken
off the mound,'' Nagy said. "It was a memorable day. Jimmy hitting
that home run was special. I've known him a long time, and he just
gets better and better.''

Joe Randa hit a three-run homer in the first off Dave Burba, but
Thome hit an RBI grounder in the first and Ben Broussard had a
run-scoring single in the second that closed Cleveland to 3-2.

Michael Tucker hit a two-run double in the sixth.

Game notes
Hernandez allowed three runs and eight hits. Burba gave up
five runs, six hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings. ... The Royals
are 7-12 in extra innings; Cleveland is 4-4. ... Kansas City went
4-for-5 in steal attempts. ... Indians rookie C Victor Martinez has
thrown out just two of 12 runners trying to steal against him. ...
Beltran scored his 113th run, a career high. ... Thome went 2-for-4
and is batting .324 since May 1.