KANSAS CITY, Mo. – With two swings, the Kansas City Royals went from another deflating loss to a thrilling victory.
The Indians, meanwhile just got another deflating loss out of the deal.
Mike Jacobs and Mark Teahen hit back-to-back home runs off Indians closer Kerry Wood and Willie Bloomquist capped the four-run ninth inning with a game-winning sacrifice fly as the Royals beat Cleveland 6-5 on Tuesday night.
David DeJesus tripled to score pinch-runner Mitch Maier and tie it at 5 after the home runs. Bloomquist`s flyball to right scored DeJesus.
“We dream of ninth innings like that,” Jacobs said. “It`s got to be the biggest win of the season for us so far.”
Wood (1-2) blew a three-run lead after starter Cliff Lee had pitched eight effective innings. The Indians` bullpen has nine blown saves in 16 opportunities. Wood, Cleveland`s big free agent signing in the offseason, has blown two saves and has an 8.31 ERA.
“I`ve got to go out and get three outs,” Wood said. “I got two outs and gave up four runs. It`s not lack of work. If I haven`t pitched in two weeks, I`ve still got to go out and get three guys out.
“I went with fastballs. The first guy (Jacobs) saw nine pitches. He`s a low-ball hitter, caught one down in the zone. The second guy (Teahen), same thing out over the plate. The rest of it happened pretty quick. I didn`t have a second pitch today and scuffling to find an off-speed pitch. It`s tough for Lee to come out and pitch that way again and for us not to pick him up again. Obviously, we need to win every game we get a chance to win and I didn`t help that today.”
The last-place Indians have lost four straight.
“It just didn`t work out for us,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “Wood`s been through all the battles, as a starter, as a closer. He has tremendous presence out there, but tonight they just got to him.”
Jacobs fouled off three pitches with the count full before going deep to right for his ninth home run.
“Soon as Jake put together that huge at-bat, that was warm and fuzzy,” Bloomquist said. “All of a sudden Teahen comes up with a huge swing. Now the tying run is at the plate. Your thought process goes up from tying it to let`s win this thing right now. Tonight was a special night. Off a guy like that it`s not easy to do. We need to feel good about it and hopefully build the momentum into tomorrow.”
Teahen hit the first pitch from Wood out to left.
“I just saw it and hit it,” Teahen said. “My at-bat was set up by Jake`s, seeing all those pitches. It is easy for me on-deck and get a little timing. I knew he was going to be aggressive with his fastball, so I got a barrel to it.”
The back-to-back homers were the Royals` first since July 7, 2008.
“Since I`ve been here, I haven`t seen a comeback like this in our home ball park,” Royals manager Trey Hillman said. “As soon as the ball left the bat with Teahen, I think the whole dugout felt like we`re going to do this.”
Kyle Farnsworth (1-3) worked a flawless ninth for Kansas City.
The Indians took a 5-2 lead with three runs in the sixth, including Kelly Shoppach`s two-run homer.
Lee, the AL Cy Young Award winner, held the Royals to two runs and eight hits. He walked none and struck out three. The Indians have scored six runs in Lee`s five losses.
“Obviously, it didn`t go the way we planned, but anytime we`ve got Woody in the game with a three-run lead I like our chances,” Lee said. “Tonight it didn`t go the way it was planned, but 99 percent of the time, it`s game over right there. You`ve got to give credit to those guys for not giving up and continuing to fight. It`s not over till it`s over.
“I was locating fastballs and felt like I had a pretty good changeup tonight and I think I can carry it into my next start.”
Sizemore, who went 0-for-4 to drop his average to .215, was dropped from the leadoff slot for the first time since Aug. 24, 2007. Sizemore batted second for the third time in his career and the first time since April 18, 2005.
â™¦ Royals RHP Joakim Soria, who is out with right rotator cuff inflammation, threw off a flat surface for the first time since going on the disabled list on May 8.
WHO: Cleveland at Kansas City
WHERE: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.
PITCHERS: Carmona (2-4, 5.70 ERA) vs. Meche (2-4, 4.60)
TV/RADIO: SportsTime Ohio; WMMS 100.7-FM