Series: Game 2 of 4

Kansas City leads 2-0 (as of 4/12)

Game 1: Friday, April 11
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Game 2: Saturday, April 12
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Game 3: Sunday, April 13
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Game 4: Monday, April 14
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Royals 5

(9-0, 4-0 away)

Indians 2

(3-7, 1-4 home)

    1:05 PM ET, April 12, 2003

    Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    KC 000102200 5 9 1
    CLE 110000000 2 9 0

    W: C. George (2-0)

    L: C. Sabathia (0-2)

    S: D. Carrasco (1)

    Royals are first team in 13 years to start 9-0

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- Since the first day of spring training, Kansas City manager Tony Pena has preached one thing to his Royals: Believe in yourselves.

    Raul Ibanez could not stand the sight of a World Series game last year.

    Looks like the message sunk in.

    Kansas City extended baseball's best start in 13 years Saturday as Raul Ibanez and Michael Tucker hit two-run homers Saturday, leading the Royals to a 5-2 win over the Cleveland Indians.

    An unlikely 9-0, the Royals are the majors' only undefeated team and are the first club since the 1990 Cincinnati Reds to win its first nine games. Those Reds went on to win the World Series.

    It would be hard to imagine the small-market Royals duplicating that, but no one predicted their fast start, either -- especially after they went 62-100 last season.

    "I know we've surprised a lot of people,'' Pena said. "But we worked so hard this spring. I'm probably the only one not surprised.''

    With a win Sunday, Kansas City would be the eighth team to start 10-0 and the first since the 1987 Milwaukee Brewers.

    "We're going out there trying to win,'' Indians center fielder Milton Bradley said. "They're expecting to.''

    Ibanez's homer in the sixth inning off C.C. Sabathia (0-2) put the Royals up 3-2, and Tucker connected in the seventh off David Riske to make it 5-2.

    Chris George (2-0), one of the 17 Royals batting a flu bug the past few days, allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.

    Jason Grimsley and Albie Lopez got the Royals to the ninth and rookie D.J. Carrasco got three outs for his first career save.

    Carrasco was given the ball because Mike MacDougal, who leads the majors with six saves, was ill and resting in the clubhouse.

    "They just want it,'' Pena said. "They want to play. I keep saying it's a 25-man ballclub and I'm going to use every one of them.''

    During training camp, Pena told his team to ignore the dire preseason predictions and just play.

    "Forget about the payroll. Forget about the big names,'' Pena said, reciting his mantra. "I just want guys to have fun.''

    Bradley and rookie Brandon Phillips homered for the Indians, who blew early scoring chances and had some bad luck, too.

    Cleveland left the bases loaded in the first and had a potential big inning sabotaged in the sixth when Matt Lawton got hit on the leg while running to second on Josh Bar single and was called out.

    At 3-7, the Indians are off to their worst start since 1992.

    "I hope somebody's going to be real sick to their stomachs,'' Bradley said. "I know I am.''

    Sabathia, who left his previous start -- against Kansas City -- with a hyperextended elbow, gave up three runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.

    He took a 2-1 lead in the sixth, but gave up a leadoff single to Ken Harvey. Ibanez then worked Sabathia to a full count before connecting for his second homer this season and the first allowed by Sabathia in 18 2/3 innings.

    "I made a bad pitch, a 3-2 fastball,'' Sabathia said. "He knew it was coming.''

    Tucker followed a leadoff single by Mike DiFelice with his first homer, driving Riske's pitch into the seats in right.

    After his team was shut out 1-0 Friday, Indians manager Eric Wedge met with some of his players before Saturday's game. Wedge's raised voice could be heard in the hallway outside of Cleveland's auxiliary weight room.

    "He wanted to remind everyone what's expected of them,'' rookie catcher Josh Bard said. "He's a great communicator. I'll follow him wherever he goes. We have to be men about it now.''

    Bradley led off the first with his first homer. Phillips opened the second with his second homer, pulling a 1-0 pitch from George over the wall in right.

    On Friday, George was so sick that he wasn't sure he'd be able to make his start.

    "I ate a couple bananas and started feeling better,'' he said.

    Kansas City's latest win has helped speed his recovery.

    "This start is going to help us all season,'' George said. "We'll be able to look back on it and know we can do it.''

    Game notes

    Royals 1B Mike Sweeney sat out with the flu that has swept through K.C.'s clubhouse. ... Indians OF Karim Garcia missed his third straight game with a sore left wrist. Garcia, who had 52 RBI in 51 games last season. He'll also sit Sunday. ... The Royals are just the 12th team since 1901 to win their first nine games. They're nine games over .500 for the first time since 1995. ... Bradley has hit safely in all 10 games. ... Kansas City's 1-0 win on Friday was the club's first by that score since Sept. 21, 1997.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press