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Archive for Sunday, September 19, 2004

Buck, Gobble lead K.C. past Cleveland

September 19, 2004

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— The Cleveland Indians were eliminated from the AL Central race, and Eric Wedge didn't take it very well.

The Indians manager said his players were "playing like they have run out of gas" after the Kansas City Royals won, 7-1, Saturday night. The loss was the Indians' 11th in 15 games.

"I believe in each and every guy on this team, but somebody has to step up," Wedge said. "They have to have some pride in what ... they are doing."

John Buck hit a two-run homer and Jimmy Gobble allowed two hits over seven innings against Cleveland, which fell to 8-22 since getting within a game of first-place Minnesota on Aug. 14. The Indians are 15 games back after Saturday's games.

Angel Berroa had three hits and an RBI for the Royals, who are 8-8 in September and earned consecutive road victories for the first time since June 16-17. The Royals can get their second series sweep of the season with a win today. They took three straight from Cleveland from April 9 to April 11 in Kansas City.

"That's good," Royals manager Tony Pena said. "We've started to play a little better and we'll need to keep scoring runs."

Gobble (8-8) gave up one run, struck out five and walked five to improve to 2-0 in four starts since being recalled from the minors Aug. 29. He used an assortment of breaking balls to retire 18 of 20 batters after Cleveland scored in the second inning.

"He made some adjustments and pitched very well," Pena said. "He was stronger at the end than at the start."

"I couldn't command my fastball early," Gobble said. "I mixed in some off-speed pitches just to get some strikes. Then I started throwing a good fastball down and away."

The Royals took the lead in the fourth. Berroa and Abraham Nunez hit consecutive doubles to tie it. Ken Harvey followed with a run-scoring single. One out later, Buck homered on a 1-1 pitch to make it 4-1.

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