Peralta's quick study from the on-deck circle paid off
immediately with a three-run double in the seventh inning as he
matched his career high with four RBI in the Cleveland Indians'
6-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.
The Royals have lost 11 straight games to drop to a major
league-worst 2-13. They have only two longer losing streaks in
franchise history -- 12 games in 1997 and 19 games last season. The
Royals have been outscored 78-32 during the skid.
Ronnie Belliard led off the seventh with a single off Elmer
Dessens (1-1), and Grady Sizemore's infield single and Michaels'
walk loaded the bases with two out. Peralta then hit Dessens' first
pitch of the at-bat into the left-field corner.
"I was watching how he was pitching to Michaels," Peralta
said. "He was throwing a lot of balls inside. That's what I went
up looking for, a pitch inside, and that's where he threw it."
After walking Michaels, Dessens said he wanted to make sure the
first pitch to Peralta was a strike.
"It was a sinker in," Dessens said. "I wanted it down, but it
was in the middle. I was one pitch away. I tried so hard to get the
out. When we are in a streak like this, everybody is frustrated."
Peralta was 5-for-29 in the first six games of the trip.
"Peralta stepped up big time," Indians manager Eric Wedge
said. "He's comfortable in those situations. He likes being up in
those situations. He's had a great deal of success with runners in
scoring position, as well as late in the game."
The Royals have had little to no success this season or the past
two seasons, losing 210 games.
"I don't know how many times we've done that," Royals manager
Buddy Bell said of coming back to tie a game or take the lead only
to give it back in the next inning. "It has happened a lot."
Kansas City pulled within one in the ninth on sacrifice flies by
Reggie Sanders and Emil Brown, before Bob Wickman finished off his
fourth save. The Royals had four sacrifice flies, tying a club
record and one shy of the major league record.
Peralta's single in the first scored Sizemore for the first run.
Michaels scored the other run in the first on Eduardo Perez's
The Indians made it 3-0 in the fourth when Perez doubled, took
third on Mark Redman's wild pitch and scored on Belliard's single.
Kansas City's Mike Sweeney, who entered the game hitting .125,
had four hits for his first multihit game of the season.
Sweeney led off the Royals' three-run sixth with a single and
advanced to third on Sanders' single. Sweeney scored on Brown's
sacrifice fly. Sanders, who stole second for his 299th career
steal, scored on Angel Berroa's single. Shane Costa's sacrifice fly
scored Mark Teahen with the final run of the inning, tying it at 3.
It was the first time in 20 innings that the Royals had scored.
The Royals had two singles in each of the first two innings and a
double in the third, but failed to score off left-hander Cliff Lee.
The Royals stranded 10 runners, including six in scoring position,
and had two other runners thrown out at third base.
Lee, 4-0 in seven starts at Kauffman Stadium, allowed three runs
on nine hits and a walk, while striking out five in 5 2-3 innings.
Danny Graves (2-0), who got the final out of the sixth for the only
batter he faced, picked up the victory.
The Royals still don't have a win from a starting pitcher.
Redman, who was making his second start after having knee surgery
in spring training, gave up three runs on five hits and two walks
in a no-decision.
Indians C Victor Martinez went 0-for-4, snapping his
15-game hitting streak, which was the longest in majors this
season. ... Indians RHP Matt Miller is scheduled for surgery on
Wednesday to repair a flexor tendon injury and is expected to be
out four to six months. ... Royals C John Buck struck out in the
second inning for the first time in 31 at-bats this season. Buck
struck out 94 times in 401 at-bats in 2005.