Cy Young winner Kluber winless this year, Royals top Indians
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Eric Hosmer can’t believe Corey Kluber is still looking for his first victory.
Kluber, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, remained winless through seven starts this season when the Kansas City Royals beat the Cleveland Indians 7-4 on Thursday.
”It’s a guy you would never anticipate being 0-5, definitely not,” said Hosmer, who hit a three-run homer in the first inning. ”He’s still got the same stuff as he did. He’s still really effective. He’s got the two-seamer, cutter and slider that he whips out the second and third time through.”
Hosmer hit a 2-0 pitch for the homer.
”When you get behind a guy 2-0 with two guys on, you can’t really be picky there,” Kluber said. ”I’m going out there trying to attack guys and he put a good swing on it.”
Kluber (0-5) matched the record for most winless starts by a pitcher after winning a Cy Young. Zack Greinke in 2010 and Frank Viola in 1989 also went seven straight without a victory.
”I think we all know that he’s our guy,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. ”When we get where we want to be, he’ll be a huge part of it. Whatever your record is, you have to live with that. That is part of the game.”
Kluber gave up five runs, seven hits and two walks in 5 2-3 innings, and left with a 5.04 ERA. In his past four starts, Kluber has a 7.43 ERA, yielding 38 hits and 19 earned runs in 23 innings.
The Cleveland ace went 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA last year.
Franklin Morales (3-0) won with two scoreless innings of relief.
Luke Hochevar, who just came off the disabled list following shoulder surgery, pitched a scoreless sixth, striking out two. It was his first appearance since Sept. 29, 2013.
”I had an adrenaline rush especially in a spot like that (a one-run lead),” Hochevar said. ”I didn’t feel too pumped up or too juiced up. I was just excited to be on the mound.”
Greg Holland worked a spotless ninth to collect his fifth save in as many chances.
Rain delayed the start of the game by 2 hours, 17 minutes.
Hosmer hit three home runs and drove in 10 runs in the seven-game homestand.
Royals starter Edinson Volquez lasted just three innings after walking six, including Donnie Murphy and Michael Bourn with the bases loaded in the second. He entered the game averaging 2.1 walks per nine innings. Volquez had a blister on his right thumb that popped in the third inning.
”I asked the trainers if he would miss a start and right away they said no,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Volquez said he has had the blister ”in the same spot” in previous years.
”I’ve been dealing with it the last couple of starts, but today was the worst,” Volquez said.
Carlos Santana homered in the seventh, cutting the Royals’ lead to one run. The Royals responded with Omar Infante’s two-run double in the bottom of the inning.
Royals RHP Kelvin Herrera had his seven-game suspension for incidents, April 19 against Oakland and April 23 at Chicago, reduced to six games after his appeal.
ROYALS OBTAIN CATCHER
The Royals acquired C Drew Butera from the Angels for minor league IF Ryan Jackson. Butera hit .190 in 10 games with the Angels.
Commissioner Rob Manfred, who is touring all MLB parks, stopped in at Kauffman Stadium. ”I think the success Kansas City had last year and the great start they’re off to this year, and the fact that they have a strategy that is sustainable in our system, it says a lot about the health of our industry,” Manfred said. ”I would be remiss if I didn’t point out it takes foresight and diligence to accomplish what (owner) David Glass, (president) Dan Glass and (general manager) Dayton (Moore) have accomplished. While I do believe we have a system within which you can draft and acquire young talent, it’s still a tall order to accomplish that in the way they have here.”
Indians: With LHP T.J. House (shoulder inflammation) on the DL, LHP Bruce Chen will start Saturday against the Twins.
Royals: SS Alcides Escobar remains on the concussion list, waiting results of Thursday tests.
Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer, who starts Friday against the Twins, has a 6.06 ERA in three Progressive Field starts.
Royals: RHP Yordano Ventura will make his first start Friday since April 29, after completing his seven-game suspension.