CLEVELAND (AP) — Luke Hochevar pitched a complete game to finally beat Cleveland and Alberto Callaspo hit a three-run homer, sending the Kansas City Royals to a 9-3 win over the short-handed and sliding Indians on Thursday.
Hochevar (4-2) gave up four hits to go the distance for the third time in his career. He had no trouble with the Indians, who were without the top two hitters in their lineup — Asdrubal Cabrera and Grady Sizemore, both out with injuries. Hochevar, who had lost his last three starts to Cleveland, gave up two first-inning singles and then retired 15 of 16 before Shin-Soo Choo's double in the sixth.
Callaspo connected for his seventh homer in the third off Mitch Talbot (5-3), and Jose Guillen later added his ninth homer this season.
Jhonny Peralta hit a two-run homer for the Indians, who dropped their fourth straight and fell below the Royals into last place in the AL Central.
Hochevar's outing didn't begin smoothly. He gave up two hits and one walk and trailed 1-0 before recording his second out. But the right-hander settled down and coasted to his fourth win — all on the road — this season. He walked two, struck out seven and threw 107 pitches.
Because of the injuries to Cabrera and Sizemore, the Indians had Trevor Crowe leading off and Jason Donald batting second. Both were at Triple-A Columbus less than one week ago.
Callaspo's towering shot to right landed in Kansas City's bullpen and staked Hochevcar to a 6-1 lead over Talbot, who has been one of the few bright spots for Cleveland this season.
Following a leadoff single by David DeJesus and Billy Butler's double, Guillen snapped an 0 for 17 slump against Cleveland pitching this season with a broken-bat RBI single to make it 3-1. The switch-hitting Callaspo followed by pulling a 2-0 pitch from Talbot for his seventh homer.
Talbot was tagged for six runs and eight hits in six innings.
The Indians closed to 6-3 in the sixth on Peralta's third homer.
But the Royals came back with three in the seventh, helped by Choo's error in right field when he overran Mike Aviles' single for a two-base error, allowing Scott Podsednik to score from first. Guillen followed with a shot into the left-field bleachers.
The Royals pushed two runs across in the second off Talbot, who allowed a double, single and walk to load the bases. Betancourt brought in the first run with a fielder's choice and Jason Kendall bounced an RBI single through the middle, putting Kansas City ahead 2-1.
Travis Hafner's two-out RBI single gave the Indians a 1-0 lead in the first.
NOTES: Indians C Mike Redmond has gone 253 consecutive games without an error. His streak, which dates to July 2004, broke Mike Matheny's major league record. ... Cleveland opens interleague play on Friday against Cincinnati, which resides at the other end of Ohio and the other end of the standings. The Reds haven't been in first place this deep into a season since 2006. ... Kansas City will play 12 of its next 16 at home, starting with a three-game set vs. Colorado. ... Indians 1B Russell Branyan is in a 1 for 22 slump.