Royals lose third straight, 7-1 to Indians
CLEVELAND (AP) A three-game losing streak hasn't shaken the World Series champion Royals' confidence.
Ian Kennedy allowed a pair of home runs in the sixth inning Saturday and stretched his winless streak to five starts as the Cleveland Indians beat Kansas City 7-1 on Saturday night.
The Royals arrived in Cleveland having won a season-high six straight games but have been outscored 18-6 and surrendered first place in the American League Central to their hosts.
''That's baseball, every team in our division has been up and down this year,'' Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. ''We had our opportunities and couldn't capitalize. They had their opportunities and they did. It's way too early in the season to get worked up about a couple of games, and we're not going to.''
The Indians only scored once in the first five innings off Kennedy (4-4), whose last win came on May 7 at Progressive Field. In the sixth, the right-hander gave up a solo homer to Mike Napoli and allowed an RBI single to Rajai Davis with two out and an 0-2 count. Davis then scored on Tyler Naquin's two-run homer that put Cleveland up 5-0.
''I was one pitch away from getting out of that inning, but made two big mistakes to Davis and (Naquin),'' said Kennedy, who struck out six in six innings. ''It's frustrating because you work your butt off the whole time – and I felt pretty good throwing everything – only to hurt yourself with just a couple of mistakes.''
Reymond Fuentes drove in Kansas City's lone run in the seventh with a single off Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin (8-1), scoring Kendrys Morales.
The Royals lost the series opener 5-4 when Joakim Soria allowed two runs in the bottom of the ninth Thursday, and were shut down by Danny Salazar in a 6-1 defeat Friday. Kansas City must win Sunday to avoid its first four-game sweep in Cleveland since August 11-14, 2006.
''We've been playing pretty well, so there's no reason to be concerned,'' Kennedy said. ''We've got a lot of good teams in the division, and we're back in first place if we win tomorrow.''
Royals catcher Salvador Perez went 2 for 4 in his first action since May 28. The World Series MVP missed six games after bruising his left thigh in a collision with teammate Cheslor Cuthbert against the White Sox.
Both of Perez's hits came off Tomlin, making him 13 for 20 (.650) in his career against the righty. Yost said he will play in the series finale, but not necessarily behind the plate.
''I feel awesome,'' Perez said. ''No problems. I feel good, great.''
Yost said he felt like a proud parent when SS Alcides Escobar recorded his 1,000th big-league hit Friday. Escobar began his career in the Brewers' organization in 2004, when Yost was managing Milwaukee. ''I remember watching him on the back fields in Class A,'' the skipper said. ''Esky was very skinny, but you knew he could play and that he would fill out.''
Royals: RHP Kris Medlen (right rotator cuff inflammation) will throw to batters Monday at the team's training facility in Surprise, Arizona. He has been on the disabled list since May 11.
Royals: RHP Chris Young makes his first start since May 9. He has logged two relief appearances since coming off the 15-day DL with a sore forearm on May 28.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber allowed six runs, including two homers, in seven innings Monday in a 7-3 loss to Texas. He is 5-5 in 14 career starts against Kansas City.