Royals Go Down Late To Indians 5-3

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez singled home runs with two out in the 11th inning and the Cleveland Indians rallied for a 5-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.

The Indians, who scored a run in the ninth to send the game into extra innings, remained 2 1/2 games ahead of the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central. The Tigers beat the Yankees 5-4.

Hafner's single off John Bale, the sixth Royals pitcher, scored Franklin Gutierrez, who led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Grady Sizemore, who was hit by a Bale pitch, scored the second run of the inning on a Martinez single.

Joel Peralta (1-3), the fifth Royals pitcher, walked Gutierrez and was charged with the loss.

Rafael Betancourt (3-0), who threw 18 strikes out of 22 pitches, struck out three in two perfect innings to pick up the victory. Joe Boroswki got his 37th save in 42 chances.

The Indians were down to their final out in the ninth when Sizemore doubled off Royals rookie closer Joakim Soria. Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a single to center to score Sizemore. Soria was charged with his fourth blown save in 18 opportunities. His previous blown save was May 20 at Colorado.

The Indians finished a nine-game road trip at 5-4, and travel home to start a seven-game homestand Monday.

Emil Brown drove in two runs and scored the other for the Royals.

Indians right-hander Fausto Carmona allowed three runs and 10 hits in six innings. Carmona is 2-4 in his past seven starts, despite a 2.29 ERA. The Indians have scored 11 runs in that span.

Royals right-hander Gil Meche held the Indians to two runs and seven hits over six innings, while striking out four and walking two. Meche, who the Royals signed to a five-year $55 million contract in December, is 0-5 in his past seven starts since a July 20 victory at Detroit.

Brown, who went 4-for-4 on Saturday, singled to center in the sixth to score David DeJesus and Ross Gload, who began the inning with singles. Brown took second on Jason Smith's ground out and scored on Shane Costa's two-out single.

Casey Blake, who entered the game hitting just .232 in the second half of the season, stroked a two-out run-producing single in the second for the first Cleveland run. Blake's single to center scored Ryan Garko, who led off the inning with a single, took second on a Kenny Lofton walk and went to took third on Franklin Gutierrez's fielder's choice ground out.

Alex Gordon's first error in 44 games and the Royals' first in 10 games led to an Indians' run in the fifth. Blake led off the inning with an infield single and moved to second on Gordon's throwing error. Blake stopped at third on Sizemore's infield single and scored when Cabrera grounded into a double play. ^Notes: C John Buck was hit by a pitch in the sixth inning, bringing the Royals' total to 76, which leads the majors and ties the club record set in 2004. ... DH Mike Sweeney struck out in his only two at-bats Sunday with Omaha, the Royals' Triple-A affiliate, against Round Rock. Sweeney is 2-for-8 in three rehab games with Omaha.


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