KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Snoozing on the way to the ballpark, David Huff was jolted by a crash. A car had lost control in the rain and slid into the side of the team bus, a startling wake-up call for the Cleveland Indians rookie.
Once Huff got to the field: crickets, just as he likes it.The left-hander threw six solid innings Wednesday, bouncing back from a bad outing and helping the Indians to a 4-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals.All that buzz from Zack Greinke's 15-strikeout performance the night before? Gone thanks to a whisper-quiet stadium and a pitcher who prefers groundouts to punchouts."I'm not going to go out and strike out a bunch of guys," said Huff, 6-3 on the road. "I'm going to be the guy who tries to get groundball outs, a bunch of double plays. For me, strikeouts are boring. I like a quick ballgame. I like guys to ground out in one pitch, two pitches."Grady Sizemore reached base four times after a day off, scoring in the first, third and fifth innings to put Cleveland up 3-2. Jamey Carroll, Cleveland's No. 2 hitter, had two of his three hits on hit-and-runs to move Sizemore around the bases and Matt LaPorta hit his second homer of the season off Luke Hochevar (6-7) to give Huff all the support he needed.Kerry Wood worked a perfect ninth for his 16th save in 21 chances, giving Cleveland its eighth win in 12 series since the All-Star break.The Royals couldn't follow up the excitement from Greinke's performance the night before.Kansas City scored two runs in the first three innings off Huff (8-7) but didn't get a runner past second base after that. Billy Butler had three hits for the Royals, who have baseball's worst home record (26-41) after losing five of six at Kauffman Stadium."It's a frustrating year," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "Losses are tough to let go of."Most of the game was nondescript, as might be expected of two teams with little left to play for and a crowd that hardly seemed there.The Royals got a run in the first inning on Mark Teahen's sacrifice fly, another in the third on a bloop double by Miguel Olivo.Asdrubal Cabrera had a run-scoring fielder's choice in the first for Cleveland. Shin-Soo Choo added some excitement with a run-scoring double to left-center in the third, a play that ended with Carroll getting thrown out by three steps at the plate. Sizemore scampered home on a wild pitch in the fifth and LaPorta homered in the sixth, drawing cheers from a handful of fans and not much else.In between? Lots of lazy popups, routine grounders, a few strikeouts, the occasional grounder through the infield. Boring? Maybe a little, especially after what Greinke did the night before, but it worked."It was different, but it's the big leagues and you have handle any atmosphere you're in," Wedge said. "It doesn't matter. You still have to raise your level of play."Huff started off his day with a jolt, one of nine Indians players on the bus when it was hit by a car on the way to the stadium. No one was hurt.On the field, the lefty didn't let the Royals get the barrel on too many pitches, inducing plenty of soft grounders and sleepy fly balls. Huff allowed two runs and seven hits after lasting just 3 1/3 innings his last start."It always helps when guys are swinging at pitches," Huff said. "It's one of those things where you throw something off-speed, they think it's fastball and hopefully they just roll it over."Hochevar had a second decent outing on the heels of four shaky ones, working through traffic to allow three earned runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. The right-hander lost his chance to end a six-game winless streak with the wild pitch -- Kansas City's majors-leading 73rd -- that allowed Sizemore to score and the slider LaPorta hit out to put the Indians up 4-2."That was a terrible pitch to LaPorta," Hochevar said after throwing a career-high 116 pitches. "I had him 0-2 with two outs in a 3-2 ballgame. That can't happen. My thought process was right, but it doesn't matter. What matters is executing that pitch."
Indians DH Travis Hafner was given the day off to rest his surgically repaired shoulder after four straight starts. ... Right fielder Jose Guillen (knee) will join the Royals on their five-game road trip and still hopes to play by Sept. 1.