CLEVELAND (AP) -- C.C. Sabathia returned to the mound, and
brought some normalcy back to a young life he said has been changed
Sabathia, robbed at gunpoint just a day earlier, pitched six
solid innings for Cleveland on Saturday but got a no-decision as
the Kansas City Royals defeated the Indians 4-2 in the first game
of a day-night doubleheader. The Indians won the second game 4-1.
Sabathia, though, felt victorious.
"It felt good to get back out there," the 21-year-old said.
"When I'm out on the field, I'm just trying to have fun. I tried
to block everything out."
Nothing could have prepared Sabathia for what happened Friday
morning when he and a cousin were accosted by two armed men
following a party at a downtown hotel.
Sabathia was not injured, but was badly shaken by the encounter
he called a "life-altering situation". He had a necklace,
earrings and wallet taken.
"You definitely step back and take a look at yourself," said
Sabathia. "It definitely won't happen to me again."
No arrests have been made, and Cleveland police are still
investigating the robbery. Sabathia blamed himself for getting into
a bad situation, and said his father will spend the remainder of
the season with him in Cleveland.
Manager Charlie Manuel had given Sabathia the opportunity to
skip his start.
"I said, 'No'," Sabathia said. "I was definitely a lot more
anxious to get out there and get things kind of back to normal."
Sabathia allowed two runs and three hits in six innings, leaving
with the score tied 2-2.
"I was kind of concerned about how he was going to handle
things," Manuel said. "But he pitched well."
Manuel said he and Sabathia spoke on Friday.
"We talked about a lot of things," Manuel said of Sabathia,
who signed a four-year, $9.5 million contract early in spring
training. "I support C.C."
Joe Randa opened the ninth with a double to right-center off
Wickman, and after failing to get down a bunt to move Randa up,
Quinn followed with a sinking liner to right that Matt Lawton just
missed with a diving attempt.
"I was trying to move the runner over anyway I could," Quinn
said. "It was a bad bunt attempt. I had to do anything I could to
get him over."
Carlos Beltran reached on a bunt single and Quinn scored on
The Indians have been outscored 28-8 in the five losses to
Kansas City, and Cleveland has now lost 20 of 28.
"We're not pounding anybody," Manuel said. "When I look at
the Royals, I wonder where we sit with them. Right now, we're in
the same class where they are."
Kansas City's running game helped give the Royals a 1-0 lead in
the second. Carlos Febles walked, stole second and scored on Neifi
Perez's two-out RBI single.
The Royals, who came in ranked second in the league in steals,
have swiped 10 of 12 bases in three games against Sabathia this
"We don't have much power so we have to manufacture runs,"
Royals manager Tony Pena said. "We're just having fun."
Again, the Royals ran themselves to another run in the fifth.
Brandon Berger walked, and was running when Febles singled. Chuck
Knoblauch's sacrifice fly made it 2-0.
Unable to get clutch hits all season, the Indians blew another
bases-loaded opportunity in the second.
They loaded the bases on a leadoff walk and a pair of two-out
singles in the second off starter Jeremy Affeldt, who got out of
the mess by getting Vizquel on a grounder to third.
Affeldt allowed two runs and seven hits in five innings.
According to police estimates, Sabathia lost $44,000 worth
of jewelry and cash in the robbery. ... Beltran had stolen 27
straight bases before being thrown out by Eddie Perez trying to
swipe second in the fourth. Beltran hadn't been thrown out since
Aug. 11 last season. ... The Royals came in with the highest stolen
base percentage (.833) in the AL. ... Kansas City started two
left-handers in a doubleheader for the first time since July 26,
1993, when Chris Haney and Dennis Rasmussen faced Texas.