Journeyman right-hander Luis Mendoza can turn a 12-game skid into a two-game winning streak today when the Kansas City Royals go after a series win in the finale of a three-game set with the host Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.
The Royals, who started the season with three wins in five games, had lost a dozen in a row - including the opener against the Indians - before finally breaking through on Wednesday night with an 8-2 triumph.
Alex Gordon hit a three-run home run and Billy Butler added two homers.
Butler hit a two-run blast and a solo shot while Eric Hosmer contributed a two-run homer for the Royals, who hadn't won since defeating Oakland on April 10. Luke Hochevar (2-1) gave up just two runs on four hits over 6 1/3 innings for the win.
Travis Hafner drove in a run for the Indians, who had won four of five. Ubaldo Jimenez (2-1) gave up four runs on six hits over six innings to take the loss.
Mendoza, who was signed by the Boston Red Sox in 2000 as an undrafted free agent, ultimately made his big-league debut with the Texas Rangers seven years ago and made three starts in six appearances - going 1-0.
He pitched two more seasons with the Rangers and was 3-8 in 26 games before heading to Kansas City in an April 2, 2010 deal for a player to be named.
In his initial two years with Texas he was 2-1 in six games and he's opened 2012 with three starts and a pair of losses with a 6.92 earned run average.
The second of his three 2012 starts was against Cleveland on April 15 and ended in a 13-7 loss after he gave up nine hits and five runs in four innings with four walks and a strikeout.
The Royals have lost all three games Mendoza has pitched.
For the Indians, right-hander Josh Tomlin makes his four start of the season and second against Kansas City.
He walked away with a no-decision in Cleveland's 11-9 win after surrendering four earned runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings.
The Tyler, Texas native has won four of five career decisions against the Royals in seven games - six starts - with a 4.29 ERA in 42 innings.
He went eight strong innings in his most recent start at Seattle, allowing five hits and giving up a single earned run in a 2-1 defeat of the Mariners.
The Indians swept a three-game series against the Royals in Kansas City from April 13-15 and have won 14 of the last 18 encounters.