KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Game-winning hits are hard to come by
for journeymen catchers who shuffle around from team to team and
only rarely get to play.
For Alberto Castillo, there was that bases-loaded single with
the New York Mets eight years ago. And now there's solo home run
with two outs in the ninth inning Tuesday that lifted the Kansas
City Royals past the Cleveland Indians 6-5.
"I did it one time in 1997 with the Mets," said Castillo,
who's spent time with six different clubs since breaking into the
majors in 1995. "It was a great feeling. What can I say? It's a
Castillo, subbing for slumping John Buck, had only 10 career
homers in 904 at-bats when he got the 3-2 fastball he expected from
Arthur Rhodes (1-1), the fifth Cleveland pitcher. He also had two
singles, scored three runs and got his first stolen base since
"A very good day," he said beaming.
Manager Tony Pena, whose Royals are 3-0 when Castillo catches,
told him Monday that he would start.
"It's nice to get up in the morning, and you think of the fact
you're playing that day," Castillo said. "I was a happy man last
The Indians and Royals both stranded 13 runners. The Royals, who
also used five pitchers and won for just the second time in eight
home games, had 15 hits. Cleveland, which loaded the bases twice
but failed to score, had 14.
"Runners left on base, that's the story of the game,"
Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "It was ridiculous how many
runners we left on base. Guys are swinging the bats better and we
created many opportunities. You'd think we could scratch out at
least one (hit) here or there."
Mike MacDougal (1-0) pitched one inning for Kansas City.
Cleveland loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth and eighth
innings but didn't score. Ben Broussard hit into a forceout at the
plate in the fifth, and second baseman Ruben Gotay threw out Victor
Martinez at the plate following Aaron Boone' popup into shallow
right. In the eighth. Ronnie Belliard and Martinez struck out, and
Travis Hafner grounded out.
"As a hitter, those are situations you want to be in," Hafner
said. "That's when you can do your damage as a hitter. My last two
at-bats, I had runners on base. We didn't get it done. You might
come out tomorrow and score 13 or 14."
Scott Elarton allowed five runs and 10 hits in 3 2-3 innings and
is winless in his last 26 road starts. Royals starter Denny
Bautista gave up five runs and 11 hits in 5 1-3 innings.
Boone's RBI single in the second cut the lead in half but
Castillo singled in the bottom half, stole second and scored on a
single by David DeJesus.
Boone and Broussard hit RBI singles that tied it 3-all in the
Gotay's sacrifice fly and Mike Sweeney's infield single to deep
third put Kansas City back ahead in the bottom half, but Cleveland
retied it in the sixth on Coco Crisp's RBI single and Martinez's
Since his previous stolen base with Toronto in 2001,
Castillo had only tried twice, getting thrown out both times last
year with the Royals. ... SS Angel Berroa made a fine play on
Broussard's hard-hit ball in the second, going to his right and
nipping the runner by a half-step. ... Every Indian in the starting
lineup hit safely.