Royals Win Again, Finish Tribe Late 4-3

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Newly promoted Joey Gathright gave Kansas City an immediate boost, helping Brian Bannister win his second straight start with the Royals' 4-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night.

Gathright, recalled from the minors in the afternoon when 2003 AL Rookie of the Year Angel Berroa was designated for assignment, had two hits, a stolen base, sacrifice bunt and run scored.

Kansas City ended a three-game losing streak and won for only the third time in 13 games. The Royals scored three or fewer runs in nine of the 10 losses.

For seven innings, Bannister (2-3) baffled an Indians offense that had hit .303 and averaged 6.3 runs over its previous 23 games. The right-hander allowed one unearned run and four hits -- following up his best career start of five days earlier.

Acquired in a trade from the New York Mets in December, Bannister went 0-3 in six starts until getting his first AL win June 1 at Tampa Bay -- when he allowed two hits and one run, striking out a career-high six in eight innings.

The Royals' defense gave the Indians an unearned run in the sixth. Kelly Shoppach reached on a throwing error by third baseman Alex Gordon. Two outs later, Travis Hafner hit a fly ball that right fielder Mark Teahen misjudged. It fell for an RBI double, getting Cleveland within 4-1.

The Indians loaded the bases with one out in the eighth against the Royals bullpen. A sacrifice fly by Victor Martinez made it 4-2, but David Riske came on to strike out pinch-hitter Ryan Garko and end the threat.

Octavio Dotel worked the ninth for his second save. With runners on second and third and two outs, he intentionally walked Grady Sizemore before hitting Casey Blake to force in a run.

Dotel got Franklin Gutierrez to ground into a fielder's choice to end the game.

Gathright doubled to left to open the third and scored when David DeJesus doubled to right on the next pitch from Paul Byrd (6-2) to put the Royals ahead. DeJesus advanced on a groundout and scored on Teahen's single to make it 2-0.

Ryan Shealy opened the fourth by hitting his third homer. He made it 4-0 in the fifth with an RBI groundout.

Byrd allowed four runs and 10 hits over six innings and lost for the first time in five starts since May 9. The right-hander struck out four and walked one -- an intentional pass to DeJesus with one out in the sixth. Mark Grudzielanek then lined into a double play to end the inning.

The walk was the first issued by Byrd in 48 1-3 innings since April 26. The right-hander was seeking to match his career-best five straight wins, accomplished in 2001 when he was with the Royals.

Notes

Cleveland fell to 16-7 in the AL Central, including 2-3 against the Royals. ... Gordon's second-inning single broke an 0-for-19 streak. ... Indians 3B Blake went 1-for-4, extending his hitting streak to 15 games. ... Byrd's walkless streak was the longest by an Indians pitcher since RHP Dick Donovan went 45 1-3 innings in 1963. ... Bannister struck out two without a walk. His dad Floyd went 3-11 in his career against the Indians. A left-hander, Floyd Bannister was the first overall draft pick in 1976 by Houston and had a 134-143 career record for six clubs including the Royals through 1992.


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