KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Michael Brantley had a pair of hits during a seven-run first inning, and the Cleveland Indians roughed up Luke Hochevar before knocking him from the game in an 8-3 victory Friday that spoiled the Royals' home opener.
Shin-Soo Choo and Jason Kipnis each drove in a pair as the Indians scored more times in the opening inning than they had in any of their first five games. Asdrubal Cabrera added a solo homer in the ninth for good measure.
The seven runs allowed by Hochevar (1-1) in the first inning matched the number of runs that Kansas City starters had allowed during a six-game road trip to begin the season.
Derek Lowe (2-0) allowed three runs on 11 hits while surviving 6 2-3 innings for Cleveland. The 38-year-old right-hander routinely worked out of trouble, getting help from a pair of double plays that kept Kansas City from mounting much of a comeback.
Hochevar's miserable start got a whole lot worse in the fourth inning, when he took a liner off his left ankle from the bat of Cleveland slugger Carlos Santana.
The right-hander went down in a heap as the ball caromed to first base for the final out of the inning. Team officials rushed out to tend to Hochevar, who put almost no weight on his ankle while being helped to the dugout by manager Ned Yost and trainer Nick Kenney.
The team said that Hochevar had a "left medial ankle contusion" — or, a really bad bruise. X-rays taken at the ballpark came back negative and he was listed as day to day.
Cleveland batted just .176 during a 1-4 start, but it turned that around in a hurry.
Brantley snapped a 0-for-15 skid with a leadoff single, and Cabrera's double and Choo's two-run single put an early jolt in the Indians' struggling offense.
Shelley Duncan and Casey Kotchman added back-to-back singles later in the first inning, and Kipnis brought both in with a shot to center that Jarrod Dyson — called up to replace the injured Lorenzo Cain — misjudged in the wind as he approached the warning track.
Brantley's RBI double in his second at-bat of the inning gave Cleveland a 7-0 lead.
The Royals got a run back in the first on three straight hits, including Eric Hosmer's single, but Billy Butler's double-play groundout and Alex Gordon's strikeout ended the threat.
Kansas City got two more in the fourth on a single by Gordon and a shot into the gap in right by Mike Moustakas, but he was left stranded when Humberto Quintero flied out to end the inning.
Lowe and the Indians' bullpen kept the Royals in check the rest of the way.
NOTES: Royals LHP Everett Teaford allowed one hit and a pair of walks in four innings of relief. ... LHP Jonathan Sanchez will make his first start at Kauffman Stadium on Saturday night against Indians RHP Jeanmar Gomez. ... Gordon received his first Gold Glove before the game. ... The sellout crowd of 40,230 was the largest since April 2, 2007, against Boston.