Seven singles in a row help Tribe
Road winning streak reaches 10 thanks to six-run fifth
KANSAS CITY -- If seven guys in the lineup get a hit, it's generally a decent night for an offense.If seven guys in a lineup get a hit consecutively, it's pretty much an ideal inning. The Indians put just such an inning together Friday night, and it led to an ideal ending and a 9-3 victory over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Seven straight singles and a double-play groundout that scored a run gave the Tribe six runs in the game-deciding fifth. "Obviously, it was a good inning for us," said Jamey Carroll, who hit the first of five straight RBI singles. "It just shows you when an offense is successful, everybody contributes. That's what happened that inning." What happened before that inning was less than encouraging for the Tribe. Sure, the Indians staked starter Anthony Reyes to a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs off Brandon Duckworth in the second. But Reyes wasn't around long to protect that lead. He left after three scoreless innings with right elbow soreness that may or may not keep him out of his next scheduled start in Baltimore. With Reyes unexpectedly out of the picture, the Indians had to turn to reliever Ed Mujica in a pinch. Though he had given up 14 earned runs in his last 7 2/3 innings of work, Mujica had no trouble turning in two scoreless on this night. "I thought he was good," manager Eric Wedge. "He picked us up there." The offense took care of the rest. Duckworth, already laboring and struggling to find the strike zone, completely fell apart in the fifth. Asdrubal Cabrera led off with a single, and Grady Sizemore and Carroll followed suit. The Royals turned to reliever Joel Peralta, and the hits kept coming. David Dellucci, Jhonny Peralta and Victor Martinez all singled to bring home a run each. The hit parade continued off Yasuhiko Yabuta, who surrendered a Shin-Soo Choo's ground-ball RBI single to right. And even when the great run came to an abrupt end as Ryan Garko hit into a double play, Martinez scored from third to make it 8-0. "The guys did a good job moving it on down the line," Wedge said. "We kept pushing it to the next guy, and we put up really good at-bats. We were spraying the ball around a little bit. We were putting good [swings] at the baseball and using the entire field, so that was good stuff." The runs were necessary, because Tom Mastny did not have good stuff in the seventh. The Royals got to him with three runs on four hits that inning to make it 8-3, and suddenly the activity on the field very much resembled a ballgame. "They snuck back in it," Wedge said of the Royals. "They scored those three runs, and that's why I felt we needed to go to [Rafael] Betancourt to stop the bleeding there." Betancourt, who finally appears to have hit his stride, set the Royals down in order in the eighth. And Garko, who made six outs in his first four at-bats, turned in an insurance RBI single in the ninth, just in case. As it turned out, though, the action in the fifth would prove to be more than enough to send the Indians to their 10th straight road win and their 13th win in 18 games. "Our goal is to finish above .500," Carroll said of the 68-71 Indians. "We're not where we wanted to be this season, but we're making the best of a bad situation." Seven straight hits is one way to do it.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.