Kansas City sweeps past Dodgers

KC's hot bats sweep past Dodgers

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals are painting the town blue. The party keeps going and growing.

OK, winning five consecutive games might not mean that much to some teams, but, in Kansas City, that's cause for a celebration. This has been a long, hard season. At least, until now.

The resurgent Royals won their fifth straight by completing an Interleague sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers, 9-6, Thursday night as brooms sprouted in the crowd of 16,182 at Kauffman Stadium. The club had not won five in a row in nearly two years.

"Now we can hear the music, everything is under control right now," catcher Alberto Castillo said. "Buddy Bell believes in us and we believe in him. This is not just momentum, this is for real."

Bell, maestro of this dance band, credited the Royals' flying feet with making the difference in this one.

"Our baserunning put a lot of heat on their ballclub," he said.

When your starting pitcher is wobbly and there are no home runs setting off fireworks, you've got to do something.

Right-hander Zack Greinke left the mound after five innings, having used a career-high 111 pitches and given up eight hits, including Jason Grabowski's two-run homer.

Yet the Royals trailed just 3-2. And so they got busy in the sixth.

There was one out when David DeJesus singled to center. Matt Stairs singled to right, and DeJesus churned into third, just beating Jason Repko's throw.

"I told D.J. [DeJesus] that he won the game for us because Derek Lowe was breezing until then," Bell said.

What happened next was a series of singles, an error on Emil Brown's hard-hit grounder, and a two-run double by Castillo.

There was some grumbling that Brown's ball should have been ruled a hit by the official scorer.

"Tell him to go out there and try to field it," Brown said.

Six runs were scored, and the Royals were up 8-3.

"Matt [Stairs] pulled it hard through the hole and I felt we needed to get something going," DeJesus said. "Then we kept hitting the ball up the middle -- single after single -- and that's how you score runs."

In fact, three other times the Royals went from first to third on singles and, in each case, a run resulted.

"I think baserunning won the game," Bell said. "I thought our baserunning gave us a lot of energy."

Until the back-to-back hits by DeJesus and Stairs, the right-handed Lowe had retired 11 straight batters.

"We played smart baseball," DeJesus said. "[Lowe] kept using his power sinker and by the third at-bat, he was still throwing it and we were able to get good wood on it."

Castillo drove in three runs on the night, so give him a pass for not contributing to the running game. In the eighth, after Repko caught Stairs' fly ball in right, Castillo tried to score and was out -- by about 10 feet.

"I don't think I got a very good jump," he said.

Really?

It didn't matter much, even though the Dodgers did score three runs in the ninth against left-hander Jeremy Affeldt.

The Royals hadn't had a five-game streak since June 22-27, 2003.

Bell keeps adding to his mystique. Since he took charge, the club has an 11-4 record that includes a sweep of the Yankees as well as the Dodgers.

The Royals became just the third club to sweep a series from both of those fabled franchises in the same season. The 1997 Mariners and the 1998 Angels also did it.

"If people keep saying, 'Oh, it's a fluke, it's a fluke,' and we keep playing well and everyone's having success," Brown said, "I'll take them saying it's a fluke."

As for Bell, he credited interim manager Bob Schaefer with getting the club going before he arrived.

"I'm just sitting there and watching them play with a lot of energy and I'm just trying to stay out of their way," Bell said.

"I'm proud of the way they're playing. I really am. They're fun to watch."

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.