A fly ball lost in the Kansas City sun gives the Royals a walk-off win over the Cleveland Indians, 5-4. It would prove to set a disastrous course for the Tribe over the course of the rest of the regular season schedule.
Cleveland jumped out to an early lead on a three-run homer in the first by Victor Martinez off of KC starter Zack Greinke. Jake Westbrook made the support stand until the sixth inning, when Kansas City tied it up on an RBI-single from Terrence Long and a two-run homer from Emil Brown. A wild pitch from Westbrook in the seventh would allow Mark Teahen to score after he had doubled and was sacrificed to third.
Trailing 4-3 in the ninth, Ronnie Belliard singled off of Royals closer Mike MacDougal. He moved to second on a single from Ben Broussard. Aaron Boone sacrificed both runners up 90 feet and a grounder from Casey Blake to second scored the tying run. With the go-ahead run at third, Sizemore was hit by a pitch, but Coco Crisp struck out to end the inning.
With the score tied at four in the bottom of the ninth, Bobby Howry took over for Westbrook on the mound and allowed a leadoff single to Angel Berroa. He was sacrificed to second by Joe McEwing. Catcher Paul Phillips hit a fly ball to deep center but Sizemore lost the ball in the sun and it glanced off of his leg, allowing Berroa to score from second with the winning run.
The Indians entered the game victors of 17 of their last 19 games. Hope remained for Cleveland, which was still just two and a half games behind Chicago in the AL Central and was the AL Wild Card leader. They had three games left with Tampa Bay (65-91) before three head-to-head matchups against those White Sox (94-61).
The loss proved to be a turning point in Cleveland’s postseason push, as they would lose six of their last seven to finish in second place with a 93-69 record, six games out of first and on the outside of the postseason altogether.