Archive for Saturday, July 24, 2004

Broussard’s blast lifts Cleveland past K.C.

July 24, 2004


— Pleasure was quickly followed by pain for Ben Broussard. And he didn't mind a single punch to the gut or elbow in the ribs.

Broussard homered on a 3-0 count with one out in the 11th inning, lifting the overworked Cleveland Indians to a 3-2 victory Friday night over the Kansas City Royals.

Broussard took three straight balls from Nate Field (2-2) before driving his sixth home run over the wall in left-center and then getting pounded by his teammates at the plate.

"My first walkoff homer," said Broussard, who went 4-for-4 with two doubles. "I got to come around the bases and then get mauled. That's a great feeling.

"It's something that I'll remember for the rest of my life. It was awesome."

Field wasn't nearly as excited after giving up Broussard's game-winner.

"It was a real good ballgame," he said. "We battled all night. Then I came in, threw a lousy pitch and the game's over. It was right down the middle of the plate, and he hammered it."

The Indians have played more extra-inning games than anyone in baseball, and Broussard's shot made them 8-11 in extras.

"It just shows that we're in good games, I guess," Broussard said in explaining the Indians' many late nights and long days. "I think we're gaining a lot of experience in them, it's like another notch in our belts."

Rick White (4-4) earned the win after stranding the go-ahead run at second in the 11th by striking out Ruben Mateo and pinch-hitter Dee Brown.

Mike Sweeney homered for Kansas City, which has dropped five of seven and won only 13 road games this season.

Rookie Grady Sizemore, the top prospect in Cleveland's organization, picked up his first major-league hit and first RBI -- a double in the third.

Indians second baseman Lou Merloni made a nice defensive play in the 10th, diving to stop Matt Stairs' hard grounder before starting a 4-6-3 double play from his knees.

Reliever David Riske then struck out Ken Harvey to keep it tied 2-all.

"That was a saver right there," Riske said of Merloni's stop.

Sweeney, who has destroyed Cleveland pitching throughout his career, connected for his 19th homer in the fifth inning to give the Royals a 2-1 lead.

Sweeney drove a 2-1 pitch from starter Scott Elarton over the wall in left for his 16th career homer and 68th RBI against the Indians.

Cleveland tied it 2-2 in the sixth off starter Mike Wood on Victor Martinez's two-out RBI double.

After being shut out in consecutive games by Chicago, the Indians' scoreless drought reached 20 innings before they finally scored on Sizemore's RBI double.

Merloni reached on a fielder's choice and Sizemore lined his first major league hit over center fielder David DeJesus' head in straightaway center.

Sizemore received a nice ovation on his milestone hit from the Jacobs Field fans, who groaned moments later when the prized outfielder was picked off second base.

Notes: In his last 12 games, Sweeney is batting .407 (22-for-54) with six homers and 19 RBIs. ... The teams will make up a April 21 rainout by playing a day-night doubleheader today. ... Indians left-fielder Matt Lawton robbed Stairs of an extra-base hit in the fifth inning by making a leaping catch at the wall that was as accidental as athletic. ... Lawton left in the sixth because of a strained right hamstring. He's day to day. ... The Indians are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Jacobs Field with weekend-long activities. ... The Royals are 3-5 in extras.

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