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Published: Saturday, 9/6/2008

Martinez sparks Indians in 10th straight road win


KANSAS CITY, Mo. Victor Martinez reached base four times in his return to catching, helping the Cleveland Indians beat the Kansas City Royals 9-3 last night for their 10th straight road win.

The Indians had been bringing Martinez along slowly after the two-time All-Star catcher had elbow surgery on June 13. He was activated from the disabled list on Aug. 31 and had struggled at the plate, going 3-for-15 in five games.

Martinez got a lift in Wednesday s 9-3 win over the Chicago White Sox, hitting his first homer in nearly a year and finally got the nod behind the plate against the Royals.

Though he didn t face any long throws in the field, Martinez was sharp at the plate with two singles, driving in a run in the fifth inning.

He finished 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored.

The Indians scored two runs in the second inning and poured it on in the fifth, getting six more on seven straight singles to help Cleveland match the fourth-longest road winning streak in franchise history. The Indians have won five straight and 13 of 18 overall but are still 10 games behind Chicago in the AL Central.

Cleveland starter Anthony Reyes left after a three innings due to a sore elbow and was replaced by Edward Mujica (2-1), who gave up four hits in two innings.

Kansas City was coming off a three-game sweep over Oakland, getting 27 combined hits to win both games of a doubleheader on Thursday.

The Royals had far more trouble with the streaking Indians.

Starter Brandon Duckworth (2-1) struggled with control through his five innings, repeatedly missing high as he walked four batters. The right-hander gave up two runs in the second inning after walking three, escaping even more damage thanks to a double play started by nifty flip of the glove by Alberto Callaspo at second base.

Duckworth wasn t so fortunate in the fifth inning, giving up three straight singles. The third, by Jamey Carroll, drove in a run and nearly hit Duckworth in the head, ending his night. Joel Peralta wasn t much better, giving up three straight run-scoring singles before being pulled without getting an out.

The Indians kept it going off Yasuhiko Yabuta, scoring a run on Shin-Soo Choo s single and a double play ball by Garko that made it 8-0.

Kansas City s offense was stagnant until the seventh inning, when David DeJesus hit a sacrifice fly and Jose Guillen hit a two-run double off Tom Mastny to cut the lead to 8-3.

Notes: Royals 3B Alex Gordon, on the 15-day DL since Aug. 23 with a torn hip flexor tendon, took ground balls before the game. He didn t throw or take batting practice. ...

Cleveland s Shin-Soo Choo extended his hitting streak to nine games and his reached safely in 25 straight.

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