Tribe snap skid, ride Hafner, Sizmore homers past Royals

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Travis Hafner rounded the bases with his arms
held high and a triumphant look on his face.

Hafner's game-winning, two-run homer in the ninth gave the
Indians a 6-4 win over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night and
broke Cleveland's six-game losing streak.

"Just putting the streak out of the way is big," said Hafner
after his first career game-ending homer. "I went up there excited
to hit in that situation."

Grady Sizemore led off the ninth with a game-tying homer off
Ambiorix Burgos (1-2) into the Indians' bullpen in center field. It
was Sizemore's third homer and fifth hit in eight career at-bats
against Burgos, who blew his third straight save opportunity.

"I think we knew then that we were going to win," Sizemore
said. "I was just trying to do something to get us going, but when
I saw it go out, I was pretty fired up."

Burgos walked Jhonny Peralta and left-hander Andrew Sisco was
summoned to face the lefty Hafner, who hit his 12th homer of the
season to center.

"If you make a bad pitch to a good hitter, you don't get lucky
very often," said Sisco. "I didn't get lucky tonight. He's one of
the best left-handed hitters in the game. It was a fastball and it
was a strike -- that was the problem."

Hafner, who went 3-for-4 with three RBI, thought he had broken
Cleveland's losing streak Sunday, but his long drive with two on
and two outs in the bottom of the ninth was caught on the warning
track in a 3-2 loss to Detroit.

"I hit them both about the same, but the wind was blowing in
Sunday," he said. "Tonight, Grady took off all the pressure. I
went up there and said to myself, 'Let's hit one and get out of

"But I was fortunate to hit a homer."

Kansas City's fourth consecutive loss dropped the Royals to 2-18
on the road, tying the worst 20-game start away from home ever. The
Houston Astros were the last team to start 2-18 on the road and
they rebounded to go to the 2005 World Series.

Jason Davis (2-1) pitched a scoreless ninth for Cleveland, which
won for just the second time in its last eight home games.

"We were pressing a bit," Sizemore said. "It's been kind of
tight in the dugout the last few games."

Royals starter Scott Elarton was deprived of a win in his first
game back in Cleveland since leaving to sign a two-year, $8 million
contract with Kansas City in December.

"I don't know what to say except we've had bad luck," Elarton

In his second start this year against the Indians, the
right-hander allowed three runs and seven hits over 5 2-3 innings,
striking out four and walking two.

Matt Stairs hit his third homer leading off the sixth to snap a
3-3 tie against former Royals right-hander Paul Byrd, who left the
Los Angeles Angels for a two-year, $14.25 million deal with

Byrd, who won a career-high 17 games for the Royals in 2002,
allowed four runs and seven hits over six innings, striking out

The Royals put together four hits to take a 3-0 lead in the
first inning. Doug Mientkiewicz doubled home a run, another scored
on a groundout by Stairs and Emil Brown got an RBI when he beat out
a grounder into the hole at shortstop.

Casey Blake made it 3-1, leading off the third with his seventh
homer. That extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games.

Ronnie Belliard and Aaron Boone followed with singles. One out
later, Jason Michaels' RBI single made it 3-2. Peralta walked to
load the bases and a sacrifice fly by Hafner tied it at 3.

Game notes
The win was Cleveland's first in its last at-bat at home
this seasons and 138th at Jacobs Field, which opened in 1994. ...
The Royals released RHP Joe Mays, who had been designated for
assignment May 8. ... Stairs went 2-for-3 against Byrd after
entering the game 1-for-13 against him. ... RHP Rafael Betancourt,
activated from the 15-day disabled list, pitched one scoreless
inning for Cleveland. ... The Indians are now 1-21 when trailing
after eight innings. ... Grand Prix race driver Mario Dominguez
threw out the ceremonial first pitch.