Their first break was getting Zack Greinke out of the game after
the rookie had shut them out for seven innings. The second was
Blake's two-run single off D.J. Carrasco in the eighth that
triggered a come-from-behind 6-1 victory over the Kansas City
"Greinke was tough. He changes speeds real well," Blake said.
"We were glad to see him get out of the game."
Jake Westbrook (14-9) gave up one run and five hits in seven
innings for the Indians, lowering his ERA to 3.28, third in the
American League behind Minnesota's Johan Santana (2.62) and
Boston's Curt Schilling (3.26).
"That's very good company," said Westbrook, who matched
Greinke until David DeJesus homered leading off the sixth. "It's
nice to be mentioned in the same breath with those guys. It's an
honor to be right there."
Jaime Cerda (1-3) relieved Greinke with a 1-0 lead in the
eighth, and Cleveland loaded the bases when Grady Sizemore singled,
Omar Vizquel walked and Victor Martinez was hit by a pitch.
Carrasco then relieved and Blake singled for a 2-1 lead.
"It was a slider down. It probably wasn't a strike, but thank
God he threw me a slider," Blake said. "He dropped down and threw
a 93-mile-an-hour sinker and I barely got a piece of it, just
enough to knock it out of the catcher's glove. You get lucky in
this game from time to time."
It's the fourth time the 20-year-old Greinke has been removed
while pitching a shutout. The Royals have their prized rookie on a
strict pitch limit. In his previous start at Tampa, he left with a
4-2 lead only to see the bullpen give up five runs in a 7-4 loss.
"Like I said last time, the bullpen has been great for me all
year," said Greinke, who threw 100 pitches. "I'm more confident
in them coming in than in me staying in."
Kansas City (57-99) must win its final six games to avoided
tying the franchise record of 100 losses, set two years ago.
Greinke gave up four hits, struck out five and walked two. He
has one more start to become the first Kansas City rookie since
1992 with nine wins.
"I will not pitch this kid too many ptiches, there's no way I'm
going to change right now so late in the season," said Royals
manager Tony Pena. "I want to count on this kid for next year and
many years to come."
DeJesus, recalled from Triple-A Omaha to be the everyday center
fielder after All-Star Carlos Beltran was traded on June 24, has
scored 22 runs in his last 29 games.
Ronnie Belliard made a nice play at second base on Abraham
Nunez's hard grounder in the fourth, going to his knees, then
throwing to first. ... The Royals last nine home runs have all been
solo shots and seven have led off an inning. ... Cleveland leads
the season series 9-8.