The Kansas City Royals shoot for their first winning streak in more than a month when they resume a three-game series against the slumping Cleveland Indians at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals snapped a four-game skid on Tuesday when Luke Hochevar tossed six effective innings as Kansas City came away with an 8-3 win over the Indians in the opener of the set.
Hochevar (7-9) bounced back nicely from his previous outing last Wednesday in which he allowed eight runs on nine hits and a walk before being ejected in the fourth inning.
This time around, he allowed just three runs on seven hits and three walks with six strikeouts to claim the win. Tim Collins fired two scoreless innings in relief and Aaron Crow finished it off in the ninth.
Alcides Escobar went 2-for-4 with three RBI, while Chris Getz clubbed a two- run double for the Royals, who haven't won back-to-back games since earning four straight from June 25-29. Jarrod Dyson finished a home run shy of the cycle while Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain each knocked in a run in the victory.
"Our offense swung the bats well and we played great defense, so that was big to pick up one and get things rolling here at home," remarked Hochevar.
Derek Lowe (8-10) was shelled for seven runs on eight hits in just 2 1/3 innings for the Tribe. He walked a pair, fanned one and has an ERA of 15.88 over his last three starts. Johnny Damon and Casey Kotchman ripped RBI singles for the Indians, who lost for the fourth straight time and for the ninth time in 12 games
Zach McAllister, who has never started against the Royals before, will try to right things for Cleveland and help the Indians avoid matching their season- high losing streak on Wednesday.
The right-hander has been pitching well recently but in hard luck. McAllister has allowed three runs or fewer in his last three starts but has gotten just one run of support in each of his last two outings.
Opposing McAllister will be Luis Mendoza, who has also suffered from little offensive support recently. The Royals have scrapped out just 13 runs in his last eight starts but Mendoza couldn't point fingers after his last effort, a 4-1 loss in Seattle, when he allowed four runs and nine hits over five innings.
"He was kind of all over the place," manager Ned Yost told the Royals' website after that game. "He really struggled to command the ball down, got pitches up. But the thing about Mendoza is he competes."
These two teams have split 10 meetings this season but Kansas City has won five of the past six.