Lima, K.C. keep Tribe reeling
Cleveland ? Jose Lima finally won on the road, and C.C. Sabathia struggled again at home.
Lima stopped his road winless streak at 14 starts as the Kansas City Royals defeated Cleveland, 5-3, Wednesday night, sending the Indians to their 11th loss in 13 games.
Donnie Murphy and Angel Berroa hit solo homers off Sabathia (6-7), who lost his third straight start overall. Sabathia is 1-5 with a 5.97 earned-run average this year at home, including 0-5 in eight starts in Cleveland since beating the Royals, 6-0, on April 29. He gave up five runs – four earned – and eight hits in six innings.
“I haven’t had the kind of season I want, and I’m trying to force it,” Sabathia said. “It just seems like when there are runners on base, I can’t get a double play or key strikeout, and those guys score.”
The Indians have been outscored 68-38 since sweeping a July 4 doubleheader from Detroit that put them a season-high 10 games over .500.
“Everybody is frustrated, everybody is upset, but you can’t let it beat you down,” manager Eric Wedge said. “I think these guys are trying to do too much.”
Lima (3-8) improved to 3-3 over his last seven starts, giving up two runs and eight hits in six innings. He is 1-6 in 11 road starts this season with an 8.32 ERA, and won away from home for the first time since Aug. 10 for Los Angeles at Cincinnati.
“It definitely feels good to get a road ‘W’ out of the way,” Lima said. “I want to build on this and finish strong.”
The right-hander said getting Casey Blake to hit into a double play with the bases loaded in the first was the key.
“I kept my composure the whole game,” Lima said. “When I got into a jam, I just did the same thing I did in the first to get out of it.”
Mike Wood yielded an unearned run in the Cleveland seventh caused by third baseman Mark Teahen’s error. Ambiorix Burgos threw a wild pitch with two outs that put runners on second and third, then struck out Blake on a 3-2 pitch.
Jeremy Affeldt pitched the eighth, and Mike MacDougal finished for his 13th save in 15 chances.
Murphy, called up Wednesday from Double-A Wichita, hit the first pitch he saw for his first career homer, a third-inning drive. The infielder had 27 at-bats last year for the Royals, and he got his first hit in his first game Sept. 18 in Cleveland.
“The Indians were my favorite team growing up,” he said. “To get my first hit and first homer here is special. It’s overwhelming.”
David DeJesus followed with a double, and came around on singles by Joe McEwing and Mike Sweeney. Emil Brown added an RBI grounder for a 3-0 lead.
Berroa opened the fourth with his sixth homer and Chip Ambres, acquired Tuesday from Boston, doubled for his first hit in his second at-bat in the majors.
“It’s everything I thought it would be and more,” Ambres said. “I told myself to relax – and I did, even after the first pitch went whizzing by me.”
Notes: Kansas City has homered in nine straight games. The Royals have 11 homers in six games at Jacobs Field this season. … DeJesus went 1-for-5, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. … Murphy hit .313 with 10 homers and 32 RBIs in 50 games at Wichita this year.