KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Things have gotten so bad in Kansas
City, Wednesday night's 6-1 setback to Cleveland actually felt like
an improvement to the Royals.
And coming off Tuesday night's frightful collapse where they
gave up 11 runs in the ninth inning, who could argue?"It looked better because I've never seen anything like last
night," Royals manager Buddy Bell said of his team's 12th straight
loss. "Yeah, it looked better because it was more of a
conventional loss."Grady Sizemore hit a 3-1 pitch in the second for his first major-league grand
slam and added an RBI single to power the Indians past the hapless
Royals, who matched the club-record 12-game skid of 1997."I just wanted to get a pitch where I could drive some runs
in," said Sizemore, who set a personal best with five RBI. "I
happened to get a fastball and put a good swing on it."C. C. Sabathia (8-9) went six innings, giving up seven hits and
one run, with six strikeouts and one walk. After losing 4-3 to New
York in their last home game, the Indians are 5-0 on a six-game
trip to Detroit and Kansas City.Sabathia has won two straight after breaking out of a five-game
losing streak of his own."Getting out of jams was something I wasn't doing on the losing
streak," he said.The Royals now have the longest losing streak in the majors this
year. They have not won since July 27 when they rallied from five
runs down to beat the White Sox 6-5 in 13 innings. In their last
four games, they've allowed 46 runs.Right-hander Zack Greinke (3-14) went 4 1/3 innings and remained
the losingest pitcher in the majors. He gave up seven hits and four
runs, with four walks and four strikeouts.Sizemore, who was 3-for-3 with two singles and two walks, has
reached base in seven straight plate appearances.The Indians loaded the bases in the second on singles by Jeff Liefer and Aaron
Boone and a one-out walk to No. 9 hitter Casey Blake. Sizemore's
homer carried 408 feet over the fence in right-center.Blake, extending his hitting streak to 11 games, doubled off
Shawn Camp with one out in the sixth and made it 5-1 on Sizemore's
RBI single.The Royals got a run in the third on an RBI double by David
DeJesus, who broke a 1-for-32 skid.Sabathia's biggest pitch came in the fifth when the Royals had
the bases loaded with two out and Emil Brown lined out to shortstop
Jhonny Peralta. Earlier in the inning, Coco Crisp made a great
diving catch to save a run."If we had won 11 in a row, I guarantee you that ball would
have been to the left or right and gotten through," said Royals
catcher John Buck.Crisp had an RBI single in the eighth.Bell was ejected in the ninth inning by home plate umpire Tim
Tschida for arguing from the dugout."I think it was more of a misunderstanding than anything,"
Bell said. "I can't really get into it. There was no swearing or
anything like that. Two long nights for both of us. Tschida's a
good umpire and he did a good job tonight. That's all I can say."
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Indians on
Tuesday night were the third road team in major league history to
score 11 runs in the ninth. The Chicago White Sox did it Aug. 19,
1970, against Boston and the Toronto Blue Jays did it July 20,
1984, against Seattle. ... The official scorer changed one of the
Royals' three errors in the ninth Tuesday to a fielder's choice,
giving Ronnie Belliard an RBI. ... Sizemore made an outstanding
bellyflop catch of John Buck's shallow pop fly in the second. ...
The Indians have homered in 17 of their last 19 games. ...
Sizemore's previous RBI high was three, also against Kansas City.