Cleveland Beats Kansas City in Final Inter-Division Series of the Regular Season

belle1CHI-420x215September 18: Cleveland 5, Kansas City 2

Addie Joss and Jose Rosado had a scoreless duel going through six innings. Rosado’s remaining innings for the season are getting short though, so the KC bullpen took over. The Naps jumped on Jeff Montgomery and Joakim Soria for the first runs of the game in the eighth inning. Albert Belle blasted a Soria offering to the Kauffman Stadium fountains for a three-run dinger.

                  R H BB
CLE 000 000 041 - 5 8  5
KC  000 000 011 - 2 8  2
HR: A. Belle (11)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
A. Joss     9.0  2  2  0  2  3  
J. Rosado   6.1  0  0  0  2  5 

CLE 72-79, KC 80-71

September 19: Kansas City 2, Cleveland 1

The next day’s starters were similarly sublime. In the bottom of the second, Danny Tartabull doubled ahead of an Jose Offerman single to score the only earned run of the game. In the top of the third, a John Mayberry error helped Cleveland score their lone run during Kevin Appier’s complete game.

Carlos Carrasco was still battling in the bottom of the ninth with the score tied at one. Willie Aikens led off the frame with a fly to center that Tris Speaker bungled, and the slow-footed Aikens huffed into second base on the error. After a Danny Tartabull strikeout, Hal McRae singled Aikens over to third, and Offerman singled in the walk-off winner.

                  R H BB
CLE 001 000 000 - 1 8  3
KC  010 000 001 - 2 8  0
HR: none

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Carrasco  8.1  2  1  0  0  7  
K. Appier    9.0  1  0  0  3  7 

CLE 72-80, KC 81-71

September 20: Cleveland 6, Kansas City 0

Bret Saberhagen has been the Royals’ best starter this season, but he didn’t get the memo about the great starts pitchers were supposed to make in this series. Belle launched another dinger, and Joe Jackson took a walk and smacked three singles as the Cleveland offense overwhelmed KC pitching. Stan Coveleski dominated the KC bats for a shutout.

Every game is crucial for KC since they’re in a dog fight with Seattle for the division title. Dropping two of three to Cleveland brought KC’s record down to 81-72 as they await the results of the 79-71 Mariners’ series against Texas.

                  R  H BB
CLE 000 202 101 - 6 15  1
KC  000 000 000 - 0  4  2
HR: A. Belle (12)

starters        IP  R ER HR BB SO
S. Coveleski   9.0  0  0  0  2  3  
B. Saberhagen  5.2  4  4  1  1  0 

CLE 73-80, KC 81-72

Kansas City In Good Position After Stunning Sweep of Minnesota

September 15: Kansas City 2, Minnesota 0 (11 innings)

Two of the weakest offenses in the league got off to an appropriate start by not scoring for 10 innings. Bret Saberhagen pitched into extra innings for the first time and was superb, throwing 10 shutout innings while issuing just one walk. Johan Santana was similarly stingy for five innings, after which he was pulled to preserve his innings for a couple of more short starts to come.

It figured that the Royals would find the going easier against long reliever Firpo Marberry, but Firpo refused to allow a run in four innings, and Joe Nathan then threw a perfect 10th for Minnesota. Then in the top of the 11th, Jesse Crain took over the mound for the Twins. After a single by Danny Tartabull, John Mayberry, replacing Mike Sweeney at first base, strode to the plate for the first time in the game. Big John has been KC’s MVP this season, and he added another feather to his cap with a game-busting dinger. Mayberry has reached safely in 58 of last 89 plate appearances (.652 OBP).

Greg Holland nailed down the bottom of the 11th for the Royals.

                    R  H BB
KC 000 000 000 02 - 2 11  0
MN 000 000 000 00 - 0  6  1
HR: J. Mayberry (23)

starters         IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Saberhagen  10.0  0  0  0  1  3  
J. Santana      5.0  0  0  0  0  9 

KC 78-70, MN 80-68

sweenSeptember 16: Kansas City 8, Minnesota 1

The Royals were thrilled to steal a game that Santana started, but the going looked tougher the next day as Walter Johnson took the hill with loads of inning still under his belt. But a minor miracle occurred – they actually hit the Big Train. Willie Wilson, George Brett, and Willie Aikens all singled and the Royals had already plated two runs in the first inning before Jose Offerman lined one of the most shocking home runs of the season. It was his first of the year, and only the THIRD given up all season by Johnson in 260 innings! The two-run dinger gave the Royals a quick 4-0 lead after half an inning.

Then Danny Jackson went to work on one of his finest days of the season. He went the distance on the hill and gave up just one run while walking zilch.

In the seventh, Harmon Killebrew made an error at third base that elongated another Royals rally. Alcides Escobar and Tartabull had already doubled in the inning before Sweeney took Johnson to the seats. That’s right – in his first 259 innings of the season, Walter gave up two jacks, and then in his next seven innings, the Royals tagged him for two more.

                 R  H BB
KC 400 000 400 - 8 12  1
MN 001 000 000 - 1  8  0

HR: M. Sweeney (13), J. Offerman (1)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
D. Jackson  9.0  1  1  0  0  4  
W. Johnson  6.2  8  5  2  1  6 

KC 79-70, MN 80-69

September 17: Kansas City 8, Minnesota 2

The Royals completed the massively helpful sweep on the strength of more noisy bats and another great start, this time courtesy of Mark Gubicza. Goobie threw a complete game and gave up two unearned runs. The Twins scored three runs in the entire series, and only one of them was earned.

Sweeney’s second homer in as many days was the highlight of a full-team offensive attack by KC.

Having come into the series tied with Seattle atop the Expansion Division, the thrilling sweep moved the Royals into great position as they await the results of the Mariners series against Detroit.

                 R  H BB
KC 110 015 400 - 8 12  1
MN 020 000 000 - 2  5  3
HR: M. Sweeney (14)
starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Gubicza   9.0  2  0  0  3  4  
G. Mogridge  5.0  5  5  1  0  1 

KC 80-70, MN 80-70

Kansas City Winners Over Detroit

September 12: Kansas City 3, Detroit 1

Mark Gubicza had one of his best days of the year for KC. Darrell Porter, Alcides Escobar, and John Mayberry all singled in the fifth inning to score two runs for the Royals.

                  R H BB
DET 000 000 010 - 1 5  5
KC  001 020 00x - 3 9  1

HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
S. Rowe     7.0  3  2  0  1  3  
M. Gubicza  7.1  1  1  0  5  2 

DET 68-77, KC 76-69

September 13: Detroit 7, Kansas City 3

The Tigers offense roared to life in this one, Harry Heilmann and Bobby Veach leading the way with three hits each. Justin Verlander held the Royals in check and did not give up an earned run in his seven innings.

                  R  H BB
DET 300 002 011 - 7 16  0
KC  003 000 000 - 3  8  2

HR: none

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Verlander  7.0  3  0  0  1  6  
J. Rosado     5.0  5  5  0  0  0 

DET 69-77, KC 76-70

Mayberry John 5453-73_act_NBLSeptember 14: Kansas City 2, Detroit 0

Hal Newhouser and Kevin Appier had a nice duel. Appier took the mound in the bottom of the ninth to go for the shutout, but put the first two batters on. In came Joakim Soria, who retired three straight.

John Mayberry tagged the only homer of the series. Though Mayberry often sits against lefty starters, he has created many more runs than any other Royal this year. His .386 wOBA is ninth best in the league.

Detroit and KC split their six games together on the year.

                  R H BB
DET 000 000 000 - 0 5  4
KC  010 100 00x - 2 5  5

HR: J. Mayberry (22)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
H. Newhouser  6.0  2  2  1  5  1  
K. Appier     8.0  0  0  0  4  7 

DET 69-78, KC 77-70

Kansas City Claims Big Series Win Against Seattle to Stay Within Striking Distance

September 9: Kansas City 6, Seattle 4

The Royals jumped on Freddy Garcia for three runs in the second inning. Willie Aikens, Danny Tartabull, Hal McRae, and Jose Offerman started the inning with four straight hits. KC tagged on two more against Garcia in the third that ended Garcia’s day.

Kevin Appier took care of most of the Mariners. Alvin Davis got to Appier for two home runs that drove in all four of Seattle’s runs.

                  R  H BB
SEA 000 020 200 - 4  5  1
KC  032 100 00x - 6 12  2
HR: A. Davis-2 (16), J. Mayberry (21)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
F. Garcia    3.0  5  5  0  2  1 
K. Appier    7.0  4  4  2  1  5 

SEA 76-66, KC 74-68

sabesSeptember 10: Kansas City 4, Seattle 3

The Royals hung on to win a nail-biter in the second game despite knocking just five hits. They bunched up three of those hits along with a couple of walks in the sixth innings to plate three runs. All three of Seattle’s runs came on an Edgar Martinez dinger.

                  R H BB
SEA 000 000 300 - 3 8  2
KC  000 013 00x - 4 5  4

HR: E. Martinez (13)

starters        IP  R ER HR BB SO
F. Hernandez   5.2  4  3  0  4  5  
B. Saberhagen  7.1  3  2  1  2  6 

SEA 76-67, KC 75-68

September 11: Seattle 5, Kansas City 1 (12 innings)

The Royals were in a position to catch Seattle in first place with another win, and the massively important game brought plenty of drama as the score remained locked at one through 11 innings. Lefties Jamie Moyer and Danny Jackson were superb. The low-scoring tension was broken in the top of the 12th when the Mariners opened up a lead against Jeff Montgomery. A Robinson Cano homer drove in three runs that went a long way to helping Seattle keep sole possession of first place, though KC is now just two games behind them. The two teams still have three games together coming up at the end of the month.

                      R  H BB
SEA 100 000 000 004 - 5 13  7
KC  001 000 000 000 - 1 11  2
HR: R. Cano (13), F. White (5)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Moyer    6.0  1  1  1  1  3  
D. Jackson  8.0  1  1  0  4  8 

SEA 77-67, KC 75-69

Seattle Claims First Half of Huge Home-and-Home Series With Kansas City

moyerSeptember 6: Seattle 5, Kansas City 2

The top two teams in the Expansion Division met in Seattle for the first half of a big home-and-home series with the Mariners owning a two-game lead over the Royals. They extended their lead to three games in the first game. Ichiro Suzuki and Edgar Martinez started the bottom of the first with back-to-back doubles, and Alvin Davis collected a double and a triple later in the game. Jamie Moyer improved his Expansion Division-best ERA to 3.11.

                  R  H BB
KC  000 020 000 - 2  5  3
SEA 200 101 01x - 5 10  3

HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
D. Jackson  6.0  4  4  0  2  4  
J. Moyer    8.0  2  2  0  3  3 

KC 72-67, SEA 75-64

September 7: Kansas City 7, Seattle 5

Mark Gubicza only lasted 2.2 innings, but the Royals managed to even the series thanks to some strong relief pitching from Joakim Soria, Bud Black, and Kelvin Herrera, and two taters from Mike Sweeney against a wild Randy Johnson.

                  R  H BB
KC  310 100 200 - 7 11  9
SEA 004 000 100 - 5  7  5

HR: M. Sweeney-2 (12), A. Davis (14)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Gubicza  2.2  4  4  0  3  2  
R. Johnson  6.1  7  6  2  7  9 

KC 73-67, SEA 75-65

September 8: Seattle 6, Kansas City 4

Jose Rosado was ineffective in the rubber match and allowed the first three Mariners batters to score in the bottom of the first. A-Rod collected a single and two doubles for the victors, and the teams took off for Missouri with Seattle leading the division by three games.

                  R  H BB
KC  001 012 000 - 4  9  6
SEA 300 120 00x - 6 10  4

HR: W. Aikens (4), R. Cano (12)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Rosado   4.2  6  6  1  3  4  
E. Hanson   6.0  4  4  1  5  7 

KC 73-68, SEA 76-65

Texas Crushes KC In Short Series


September 3: Texas 10, Kansas City 6

The Royals might have been looking ahead a bit to their huge home-and-home series coming up with the Mariners. For whatever reason, they were pretty dreadful at home in a two-game series with Texas. Kevin Appier got smacked around in the first game and Alex Rodriguez took over sole ownership of the league home run lead. Five Rangers and one Royal had three hit-games: Mike Hargrove, Alex Rodriguez, Rusty Greer, Adrian Beltre, Ivan Rodriguez, and George Brett.

                   R  H BB
TEX 202 040 020 - 10 18  5
KC  101 001 201 -  6 12  2 

HR: A. Rodriguez (34), A. Beltre (16), G. Brett (7)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Matlack  6.0  5  3  0  2  2  
K. Appier   4.1  7  7  1  4  4 

TEX 63-74, KC 72-65

September 4: Texas 11, Kansas City 0

The next day was even worse for KC as Texas again put up 18 hits and the KC offense shriveled up against a shutout by Gaylord Perry. Ivan Rodriguez and Adrian Beltre had three hits for a second straight game, and Beltre crushed two more homers to make it three dongs in the two games. KC heads to Seattle trailing the first-place Mariners by two games.

                   R  H BB
TEX 021 330 110 - 11 18  1
KC  000 000 000 -  0  6  4
HR: R. Palmeiro (23), A. Beltre-2 (18)

starters        IP  R ER HR BB SO
G. Perry       9.0  0  0  0  4  3  
B. Saberhagen  4.0  8  8  2  1  5 

TEX 64-74, KC 72-66


KC Edges Into First, Boston Pads Their Narrow Lead, and All the Action From Aug. 31-Sep. 2

August 31: Kansas City 6, Texas 3 (13 inn.)
September 1: Kansas City 5, Texas 2
September 2: Kansas City 6, Texas 5

The Royals pulled off their second straight series sweep, after which they found themselves with a half-game lead atop the Expansion Division. Game one was a doozy. DH Willie Aikens crushed a home run in his first plate appearance of the season, and then added another dinger in the sixth to boost KC to a 3-2 lead. Jeff Montgomery got two quick outs in the bottom of the ninth for KC, but a pinch-hitting Al Oliver doubled and Julio Franco knocked him in to send the game to extras. In the top of the 13th, Kevin Seitzer and Willie Wilson started things with back-to-back walks, and later in the inning Danny Tartabull, Hal McRae, and Jose Offerman knocked three hits in a row. Aikens added a double and another homer later in the series. The Royals are streaking, having won 11 of their last 13, and it looks like a two-horse race in the Expansion Division between KC and Seattle. Third-place Texas is 10 games out of first.


August 31: Boston 7, Oakland 4
September 1: Boston 4, Oakland 1
September 2: Oakland 2, Boston 0

It was a big series in Oakland as the top two teams in the Original Division met with just two games separating number one Boston from the A’s. Oakland got out to a 4-2 lead in the first game (Jimmie Foxx homered for both teams), but Ted Williams slammed a three-run dinger in the top of the eighth to put Boston up for good. Boston ensured they would be remaining alone in first after the series by taking game two as well. Smoky Joe Wood was wicked for Boston, holding Oakland to one run, which was Wood’s 11th straight start without allowing more than three runs. Oakland’s Chief Bender and Rube Walberg handled most of the mound duties in the finale as the A’s kept the Sox off the scoreboard. Boston flew out of Oakland with a three-game lead.

August 31: Minnesota 8, Cleveland 4
September 1: Minnesota 2, Cleveland 1 (11 inn.)_
September 2: Cleveland 10, Minnesota 1

The Twins had their aces Johan Santana and Walter Johnson going in the first two games and took advantage with wins. The Minnesota bats backed Santana with 14 hits in the first game. Johnson and Corey Kluber dueled magnificently in the second game. Both pitchers had allowed one run through nine innings, which was the end of the line for Kluber. In the top of the 11th, Stan Spence doubled against Doug Jones and Mickey Vernon knocked him home with a single. Johnson went the full 11 innings for Minnesota and lowered his ERA to 2.65.

August 31: Anaheim 1, Seattle 0
September 1: Seattle 7, Anaheim 4
September 1: Anaheim 6, Seattle 5
September 2: Anaheim 4, Seattle 2

The first-place Mariners visited last-place Anaheim for four games, a golden opportunity to stave off the hot Royals, but the Angels have been a much-improved team of late and Seattle dropped three of four.

Anaheim’s Rod Carew led off the bottom of the first with a walk and came around to score the game’s only run. Starters Freddy Garcia and Jered Weaver battled tooth and nail.

The Mariners claimed game two in large part thanks to multi-run homers by Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano in the fifth.

Cruz homered again in the third game, which was knotted at five runs apiece after eight and a half innings. Brian Downing ended the contest with a solo jobby in the bottom of the ninth off Michael Jackson. Game four was tied through seven and a half innings until Tim Salmon drove a two run bomb.

August 31: New York 5, Baltimore 3
September 1:  Baltimore 5, New York 3
September 2: New York 8, Baltimore 5

August 31: Detroit 9, Chicago 3
September 1: Detroit 10, Chicago 3
September 2: Chicago 4, Detroit 3

August 31: Houston 2, Toronto 1
August 31: Toronto 4, Houston 3
September 1: Toronto 6, Houston 3
September 2: Toronto 7, Houston 2

Ray Halladay and Mike Cuellar dueled in the opener. Josh Donaldson collected three hits that included a triple in his debut.

In the second game, Carlos Correa knocked a two-run homer in his debut Rhubarb plate appearance. For Toronto, Carlos Delgado walked in his first four plate appearances and then homered in his fifth and final PA, which came in the ninth and put the Jays up by a run. Shawn Green later homered in the ninth to give the Jays a two-run cushion that they ended up needing after Craig Biggio led off the bottom of the ninth with a solo jack of his own. Morgan Ensberg made it to third base as the tying run, but Tom Henke closed out a two-inning save for Toronto.