KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- It was the best mistake Matt Stairs made
With the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth inning, Stairs
was looking for a fastball from Cleveland starter Kazuhito Tadano.
Tadano crossed him up with an offspeed pitch, and Stairs chased it.
He swung early and caught the pitch with the end of his bat. It
fell near the left field line for a three-run bloop double, and the
Kansas City Royals were on their way to a 10-3 win over the Indians
on Saturday night.
"I've got a nice little cue mark on the end of my bat," Stairs
said. Will I take it? Yeah, I will."
Mike Sweeney and Desi Relaford homered for Kansas City, which
broke an eight-game losing streak, and Stairs matched a career high
with his third triple of the season. David DeJesus and Ken Harvey
had three hits each for the Royals, and Harvey and Sweeney drove in
two runs apiece.
"That's probably the best game we've played all year," said
Stairs, who had four RBI in Friday's 7-6, 11-inning loss to the
Omar Vizquel homered and extended his hitting streak to 13 games
for Cleveland, which lost for just the second time in nine games
and missed a chance to pass the Chicago White Sox for second place
in the AL Central.
Zack Greinke (3-8) fell behind 2-0 early but recovered to pitch
through the fifth inning for the win. He gave up three runs on
seven hits, walking two and striking out four, before D.J. Carrasco
relieved him to start the sixth.
"I thought I pitched pretty good tonight," Greinke said, "but
they kept putting the bat on the ball and taking me into deep
Stairs' clutch double helped the Royals chase Tadano (1-1) with
five runs -- one earned -- in the fourth inning.
A defensive lapse played a part in the earned run, too.
DeJesus followed with a sacrifice that first baseman Ben
Broussard misplayed, loading the bases.
"It was one of those slow rollers that sometimes you barehand
and sometimes you glove," Broussard said. "I decided to glove it,
and I wasn't able to get a good grab on it. He laid down a good
bunt, but I've got to make that play."
After a groundout and a strikeout, Stairs' double cleared the
bases for a 6-3 lead.
"We made a couple of errors tonight, and we paid for them,"
Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "If you're not catching the
ball, you're going to pay for it. Most teams do at this level."
Ken Harvey followed with an RBI single before Chad Durbin
replaced Tadano. Tadano gave up seven runs on eight hits in 3 2-3
innings, walking two and striking out one.
Vizquel's solo homer in the first put the Indians up 1-0, and
Broussard scored on Gerut's double-play grounder in the second.
Sweeney's two-run homer into the left field fountains tied it at
2 in the third, but the Indians went up 3-2 in the top of the
fourth on Gerut's RBI single.
Relaford homered and DeJesus added an RBI single off Durbin in
the seventh inning, extending the Royals' lead to 9-3.
In the eighth, Stairs led off with a triple off Matt Miller --
the ball skidding past a diving Gerut in right field -- and scored
on Harvey's single for a 10-3 lead.
Cleveland had a six-game winning streak against the Royals
broken. ... Kansas City second baseman Tony Graffanino left the
game because of tightness in his left calf. He was replaced by
Wilton Guerrero to start the seventh inning and is day to day. The
Royals purchased Guerrero's contract from Triple-A Omaha before the
game. Guerrero took the roster spot created Friday when the Royals
traded infielder Jose Bautista to the New York Mets for
minor-league catcher Justin Huber. ... Vizquel has hit safely in 27
of his last 29 games. ... Before Saturday night's game, the Royals
traded RHP Rudy Seanez to the Florida Marlins in exchange for OF
Abraham Nunez. Nunez hit .173 with one homer and five RBI in 58
games with the Marlins. Seanez was 0-1 with a 3.91 ERA in 16 games
with Kansas City. ... In a pregame ceremony, the Royals unveiled a
statue of former star second baseman Frank White. The bronze statue
depicts White, who played his entire career (1973-90) for Kansas
City, making a diving throw to first. ... Berroa's fourth-inning
single broke an 0-for-21 slump.