Series: Game 1 of 3

Cleveland leads 1-0 (as of 9/20)

Game 1: Friday, September 20
Cleveland 6Final
Kansas City 2
Game 2: Saturday, September 21
Cleveland 2Final
Kansas City 3
Game 3: Sunday, September 22
Cleveland 6Final
Kansas City 5

Indians 6

(69-85, 33-43 away)

Royals 2

(59-95, 34-42 home)

    8:05 PM ET, September 20, 2002

    Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri 

    123456789 R H E
    CLE 300100011 6 - -
    KC 000010001 2 - -

    W: J. Davis (1-0)

    L: W. Obermueller (0-1)

    S: D. Baez (5)

    Indians jump on Royals early, cruise to victory

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Jason Davis got some important early support to earn his first career win.

    Tom Gamboa

    Royals first base coach Tom Gamboa, right, was back in the game one night after being attacked on the field in Chicago.

    Ellis Burks and Jim Thome hit consecutive home runs in the first inning as the Cleveland Indians cruised to a 6-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.

    "It's a great feeling,'' Davis said. "There's some excitement going, some pretty good nerves. You just have to be able to stay within yourself and keep your team in the ballgame.'' Given a 3-0 lead before he took the mound, Davis (1-0) gave up one run and three hits in five innings to get the win in his third major league appearance. ''(Davis) kept the ball down and used all his pitches,'' Indians manager Joel Skinner said. "The biggest thing was when he got some guys on base, he was able to entice a double play. He did some good things for us tonight.'' Wes Obermueller (0-1), making his major league debut for the Royals, gave up four runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings. "It was a fun experience today. You work to get up here. It was very exciting,'' he said. "Right into the fire. It speeds up your learning process, and that's what I wanted. "You try not to pay attention to who's in the box, but you can't help but notice all these guys. There's some big names in there who can swing the bat pretty good. You definitely have to keep the ball down. It doesn't take much for them to turn something around.'' The Indians spoiled Obermueller's debut early. Milton Bradley led off the game with an infield single. With one out, Burks hit a two-run homer to left center. Thome followed with a 434-foot home run, his 47th, into the fountains in left center. "Ellis and Jimmy put real nice swings on those balls,'' Skinner said. "Regardless of whether the (opposing) pitcher is making his major league debut or not, you don't want him to settle in. That goes for any starting pitcher. Burks went 3-for-5 with three RBI. The Indians scored again in the fourth when Greg LaRocca singled to center with two outs, scoring Karim Garcia. Once he was handed the lead, Davis was able to stay in control. "I was able to locate my fastball early in the game and that helped me,'' he said. "My split bailed me out of some jams. I was able to get my fastball in on some hitters and get some bat contact. I got a big double play (with a runner on and no outs in the fourth inning). The Royals are 2-16 in their last 18 home games and need to win four of their final eight games to avoid their first 100-loss season in franchise history. Royals first-base coach Tom Gamboa was back on the field, one day after he was attacked by two fans at Comiskey Park. Gamboa received a warm ovation from the Kansas City crowd. The Royals, who were tied with the Indians for third place on July 21, now trail Cleveland by 10 games. They assured themselves of finishing no better than fourth place for the fourth straight year. Kansas City has scored just seven runs in their last five games. The Royals finally got on the board in the fifth. Angel Berroa led off with a walk, then scored on Dee Brown's double down the left-field line. Davis then retired the next three batters to escape further damage. The Indians tacked on a run in the eighth inning on LaRocca's RBI single and Burks hit an RBI double in the ninth.

    Game notes

    Kansas City has had 14 straight non-winning months and has not had a non-losing month since June 2001. ... Thome extended his streak of reaching base safely to 48 games. It's the longest current streak in the major leagues. Thirty-seven of his 47 home runs have come off righties. ... Burks extended his hitting streak to 10 games (17-for-38, .447). ... Royals 1B Mike Sweeney went 1-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch, keeping his batting average at .342, second in the AL to Manny Ramirez of Boston (.345).

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press