Indians 5, Royals 3

Sunday, July 15th 2007, 3:59 pm
By: News On 6

CLEVELAND (AP) _ Travis Hafner had three hits, including a long two-run homer to help Fausto Carmona and the Cleveland Indians defeat the Kansas City Royals 5-3 Sunday.

Carmona (11-4) improved to 8-0 with a 1.98 ERA in nine daytime starts. The right-hander allowed two runs over seven innings to win his third straight start as the Indians improved baseball's best home record to 33-13 with their seventh victory in the past eight games at Jacobs Field.

Joe Borowski pitched the ninth for his 26th save in 29 chances.

Hafner's 15th homer after a walk to Victor Martinez made it 2-0 in the first inning against Jorge De La Rosa (7-10). It was the first homer by Cleveland's DH since he signed a four-year, $57 million contract extension on Thursday. The 436-foot shot went into the second level of seats in right field dubbed ``Pronkville'' in honor of the slugger who has 132 homers in 4 1/2 seasons in Cleveland.

De La Rosa then either walked or struck out each of the next 10 batters _ until Ryan Garko led off the fourth with his 11th homer for a 3-0 lead.

Cleveland loaded the bases on three one-out walks in the third, but De La Rosa struck out Hafner and Jhonny Peralta.

Following Garko's homer, De La Rosa issued a one-out walk to Franklin Gutierrez, then left with a bruised left thumb after 83 pitches in 3 1-3 innings. The lefty had won his three previous starts by a combined score of 30-7.

During a span of 13 batters from the first inning until the fourth, no Royals player other than De La Rosa and catcher John Buck touched the baseball _ as the Indians got two homers, five walks and struck out six times.

Kansas City scored twice with two outs in the fifth, helped by a throwing error by second baseman Josh Barfield, who threw away a potential inning-ending double play. Billy Butler followed with an RBI double and scored on a single by Ross Gload to make it 3-2.

Gutierrez had an RBI double and Barfield a sacrifice fly in the sixth to make it 5-2.

Jason Smith homered off Rafael Betancourt to get the Royals within 5-3 in the eighth.

Notes: Royals manager Buddy Bell ran out to argue with first-base umpire Chad Fairchild, who called out Butler on a close play to end the seventh. Then ``God Bless America'' was played over the PA system, so both Bell and Fairchild took off their hats and politely stood alongside each other during the tribute. When the song ended, they resumed their discussion _ which by then had lost all intensity. ... Royals LHP John Bale pitched two scoreless innings in his first major league appearance since Sept. 18, 2003, with Cincinnati. He had since pitched in the minors and three years in Japan. ... Garko has batted .424 (14-for-33) during a nine-game hitting streak. ... De La Rosa is 0-3 with a 7.80 ERA in three starts against Cleveland this season. ... Royals 3B Alex Gordon went 1-for-2 against Carmona and is hitting .750 (6-for-8) against the right-hander.