KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- With another big night at the plate, the
Cleveland Indians boosted their AL wild-card lead to 1½ games.
With the Yankees' 7-4 loss to Toronto, Cleveland is 1½ games
ahead New York and Boston, which are tied for the AL East lead at
90-64. The Indians (92-63) remained 1½ games behind the Chicago
White Sox (93-61) in the AL Central.
"We're right where we need to be," Kevin Millwood said. "We
can get in one way or the other."
Ben Broussard had a career-high three doubles and four RBI on
his 29th birthday. Cleveland had 16 hits, including seven doubles
and four homers.
The Indians, who have won four straight and 10 of 11, set their
season high for extra-base hits and have 62 homers in their past 31
"We've kind of put in a lot of time in the last couple of years
getting beat and now it time for us to go out and play well, and
we've been doing it for a while," Broussard said. "It's been a
lot of fun. We've just got to stay focused and finish strong. We
control our own destiny. We're not going to have to depend on other
people right now. We just have to play good baseball a little more
than a week and see where we're at."
Millwood (9-11) allowed one run -- a leadoff home run to Aaron
Guiel -- and seven hits in six innings, lowering his league-leading
ERA to 2.92.
"Kevin threw the ball very well," Indians manager Eric Wedge
said. "He wasn't feeling particularly well today. He battled
through it, nothing physically, just under the weather. I think he
had flu-like symptoms. It showed what type of competitor he is.
This guy has been nothing short of outstanding for us. He's been
our most consistent starter if you go outing to outing."
Millwood is attempting to become the first Indian to led the
league in ERA since Rick Sutcliffe (2.96) in 1982. With only one
scheduled start left, Millwood could become the first pitcher to
win the AL ERA title with a losing record since Mel Harder, who was
15-17 with a 2.95 ERA for the 1933 Indians.
"It's not much I can do about my record," Millwood said. "It
would still be exciting to lead the league in ERA."
Kansas City went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position off
Millwood, who leads the AL by holding hitters to a .191 average
with runners in scoring position. Millwood got double-play
grounders to end the fifth and sixth innings.
"I wouldn't say I was sick," Millwood said. "I didn't feel
quite right. After getting through six innings, I didn't have a
whole lot left."
Peralta's two-run homer in the first put the Indians ahead and
tied the Indians record for home runs by a shortstop, set by Woody
Held with 23 in 1961.
Guiel's home run was the first off Millwood in six starts. It
was the second straight game the Royals opened the game with a home
run -- Chip Ambres did it Friday.
Belliard homered in the fourth to make it 3-1, and Cleveland
increased the lead to 5-1 in the sixth on Sizemore's 22nd homer and
Casey Blake's sacrifice fly.
Royals starter Mike Wood (5-8) gave up five runs, nine hits and
five walks in six innings.
"They're swinging the bats pretty well right now," Royals
catcher John Buck said. "When we're putting them in hitter's
counts all the time, that's a good indicator why they're hitting
home runs instead of just getting base hits. They're getting
comfortable and putting little more aggressive swings on it.
Kansas City dropped to 52-102, two shy of the franchise record
for losses set last year.
Kansas City DH Mike Sweeney was able to take batting
practice, but was out of the Royals lineup for the third
consecutive game with tightness in his lower back. ... Travis
Hafner's streak of homering in six straight games ended. He singled
in the fifth, stopping his streak of his 10 consecutive extra-base
hits. ... Guiel's leadoff home run was the third of his career. ...
The Indians improved to 50-30 on the road. ... The Royals have lost
a team-record 10 consecutive games to the Indians.