Cliff Lee pitched well for the third straight game and Casey Blake broke out of a slump with a homer…
Blake, Sabathia Key 15-1 Rout Of Royals
It was great news to a ballclub that really needed it. The Indians had lost eight of 11 and came in dead last in the American League in hitting with a .235 average, and learned earlier Tuesday that one of their most dependable pitchers, Jake Westbrook, will be sidelined two to four weeks.
The right-hander went on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his left rib area. Outfielder Ben Francisco was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo to take Westbrook's roster spot. Francisco, who hit .362 in spring training, but was batting only .208 in 18 games at Buffalo, came on as a defensive replacement in the seventh inning and went 0-for-1, a long flyout to left field.
A year ago, Sabathia went 19-7 with a career-best 3.21 ERA, but was 1-2 with an 8.80 ERA in three postseason starts. He was even worse to open this season, walking 14 in his first 18 innings after issuing only 37 free passes over 241 innings in 34 starts a season ago.
He improved to 14-8 with a 3.38 ERA in 29 career starts against the Royals, including 8-4 in 15 games in Kansas City.
Blake led Cleveland's 17-hit attack, going 4-for-4 with two doubles and his second homer of the season, a fourth-inning grand slam off Kansas City starter Gil Meche. Blake raised his batting average 54 points to .233.
Franklin Gutierrez (.234) went 3-for-5 with two doubles, three RBI and scored three runs. Peralta (.257) went 3-for-4 with a solo homer, his fourth. Dellucci (.275) was 2-for-5 with his second homer.
Jorge Julio (4.50 ERA) pitched a scoreless seventh, walking one, but Jensen Lewis (5.06 ERA) yielded two hits and a run in the eighth.
Rafael Betancourt (4.00 ERA) fanned two and walked one in the ninth.
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