KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Derek Lowe was one of the best starting pitchers in the American League for the first six weeks.
Now he’s one of the worst.
Lowe retired only five of the 17 batters he faced in the Cleveland Indians’ 8-3 loss Tuesday night to the Kansas City Royals.
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Since starting the season 6-1 with a 2.05 ERA on May 15, Lowe is 2-9 and his ERA has climbed to 5.52.
“It’s been a tale of two months,” Lowe said. “They couldn’t be any further (apart). It’s frustrating from a standpoint of what I’ve pitched like. It’s not what you need to be doing but it’s reality.
“It’s been live batting practice for two months. I have no excuses,” he said. “I can’t say it’s bad breaks. That’d be a lie.”
Lowe (8-10) failed to finish the third and balked in a run. He was pulled after allowing seven runs on eight hits, two walks and a balk in 2 1-3 innings.
“There wasn’t much life to his pitches,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “His sinker only got two groundballs. Even the ones they didn’t hit hard got through. It put us in a big hole.”
In his past three starts, Lowe is 0-3 with a 15.88 ERA, allowing 20 earned runs and 23 hits in 11 1-3 innings.
“Awful,” Lowe said of his outing. “It’s just mistake after mistake. We work hard on the side to come up with a way to hit spots. Since I’ve lost velocity throughout my career I’ve tried to keep the ball out of the middle of the plate. At this level you can’t get away with mistakes. I’ve got to find a way to get back out of the middle of the plate.”
Jarrod Dyson and Alex Gordon each had three hits, while Alcides Escobar had two hits and drove in three runs as the Royals snapped a five-game losing streak.
Chris Getz had two hits and drove in two runs. The Royals scored all their runs in the first three innings.
Luke Hochevar settled down after giving up three runs over the second and third innings One run scored on Johnny Damon’s infield single in the second when Hochevar failed to cover first base. In the third inning, Asdrubal Cabrera scored on a Hochevar wild pitch.
Hochevar (7-9) gave up three runs on seven hits and three walks, while striking out six.
The Royals broke open the game with a five-run third, which was highlighted by Getz’s two-run double and Escobar’s RBI triple.
NOTES: The Royals finished July with a 7-19 record. … Indians RF Shin-Soo Choo struck out four times. … In a minor league trade, the Indians acquired 1B-OF Lars Anderson from the Boston Red Sox for Double-A Akron RHP Steven Wright. Anderson has appeared in 48 games with Boston in the past three seasons. He spent most of this season with Triple-A Pawtucket, hitting .259. …The Indians failed to make a big league deal before the deadline. “Everybody would like to add help, but I’m not disappointed because I didn’t know what I’d lose,” Acta said. “I was not anticipating much. We’re in the thick of things and we have no veteran guys we can move.” The Indians entered Tuesday in third place in the AL Central, five games behind the Chicago White Sox. “If you can’t make up five games in 60 days, you don’t deserve to be in the playoffs,” Acta said. … With the Royals trading closer RHP Jonathan Broxton to the Reds for two minor league pitchers, manager Ned Yost said RHP Greg Holland would be used as the closer. …The Royals played a man short and will bring up a reliever Wednesday to take Broxton’s roster spot.