Grady Sizemore watches his 28th homer.
Just as expected in spring training, the Indians opened a late August series needing to open a little room on an AL Central opponent. That Cleveland's 9-4 win Tuesday night over Kansas City only gave them breathing room over the last-place Royals underscores just how disappointing this season has become for Tribe fans. It was Cleveland's eighth win in 11 games ... much too little, too late.
Instead of batting Detroit, Chicago or Minnesota for the division title, the Indians are trying to hold off the lowly Royals and avoid finishing in last place.
"Overall, it was a good ballgame for us," manager Eric Wedge said. Before the game, Wedge insisted the Indians would prefer to win as many games as possible and move up in the standings rather than take a look at youngsters over the final weeks of the season.
Grady Sizemore hit a three-run homer, Shin-Soo Choo and Ryan Garko launched solo shots and five Indians pitchers did a decent job.
Starter Anthony Reyes (2-1) gave up two runs over five innings in his third start for Cleveland since being acquired in a trade for minor-league reliever Luis Perdomo on July 26 from the St. Louis Cardinals.
"I'm throwing strikes and happy with what I'm doing," Reyes said. "I got into a lot of bad habits the last couple of years and I'm working on them. I still have stuff to work on."
Brendan Donnelly, Rafael Perez, Rafael Betancourt and Masa Kobayashi worked one inning apiece. Donnelly and Kobayashi yielded one run each, in the sixth and ninth innings, respectively.
Sizemore had not hit a home run since July 31 and was had only 10 hits in his previous 61 at-bats (.164) before hitting his 28th homer, a line shot over the right-field wall to turn a 4-3 lead into a 7-3 advantage.
Sizemore got an infield hit and scored on a double by Franklin Gutierrez in Cleveland's two-run ninth.
"Grady got the big hit for us," Wedge said. "You have to love the way he plays. He's been the one constant in a very trying season what with all the injuries, trades and everything."