Royals ride Hochevar to win over ChiSox
Despite going almost two months without a victory, Luke Hochevar hadn't lost any confidence in himself.
Hochevar pitched a three-hitter for his first career shutout and Miguel Olivo hit a pair of two-run shots and drove in a career-high six runs as the Kansas City Royals defeated the Chicago White Sox 11-0 Friday night.
Hochevar (7-10) allowed just three singles and struck out five with one walk. The right-hander won his first start since July 25 and won his first game in his last eight decisions. He struck out Ramon Castro in the third inning to start a string of eight consecutive outs.
"Even though I've been going through that (losing) stretch I felt like I was throwing the ball well. I really hadn't lost any confidence," said Hochevar. "It's tough. I felt like my stuff was good. I felt like I was making pitches. Sooner or later it was going to break. Luckily it finally happened."
Hochevar even thought opposing hitters knew what was coming.
"I've had so many ups and downs, worrying about tipping pitches and trying to fix that," Hochevar.
Olivo's home runs against his former team came in the sixth inning against White Sox starter Mark Buehrle and in the eighth against reliever Jhonny Nunez. It was his third career multi-home run game.
"Wow. Hoch was outstanding, obviously Miggie led the offense. With a tremendous performance," said Royals manager Trey Hillman.
Olivo also hit a three-run home run in the Royals' 9-2 win over Detroit on Thursday.
Alberto Callaspo had a two-run triple in the seventh inning and Billy Butler added a two-run double in the eighth inning for Kansas City, who have won nine of its last 11 games. John Buck also had a solo home run in the ninth.
"I think someone needs to tell those guys at the beginning of the year that they're out of it," said Buehrle. "It seems like every year that last month they play their best baseball against teams that are going for winning the division."
The White Sox has lost four of its last five games.
With the playoff hopes nearly diminished, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen shook up his lineup to no avail after a tough 14-inning loss at Seattle, Guillen was irked by his team's effort in the loss. He benched outfielders Alex Rios and Jermaine Dye, who went a combined 0-for-12 in the extra-inning loss to Seattle. He also gave the team a pregame pep talk.
"I think my motivational speech before the game didn't work at all. It was very bad. I wasted 25 minutes of my time to try to motivate those guys," said Guillen.
The White Sox have gone 18 straight innings with no runs and seven hits.
Buehrle (12-9) allowed five runs on seven hits in six-plus innings. He came out of the game after giving up back-to-back to singles. He struck out four, but walked four. Buehrle has only won since his perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays on July 23.
"I don't know if I was trying too hard. Today was probably the best I felt since the ninth inning of that perfect game," said Buehrle, who surpassed the 200 inning mark for the ninth straight season. "It was one of those things where I wasn't even coming close to strikezone. I can't say they were close calls that the umpire missed or anything. It was just one of those innings."
Olivo also added a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning.
Royals ace Zack Greinke, who was struck on the upper part of his throwing arm by a liner off the bat of Detroit's Miguel Cabrera On Thursday, may have his next start pushed back a day. Greinke was scheduled to start Tuesday against the Red Sox, but the Royals may wait an additional day. He is scheduled to play toss before Saturday's game against the White Sox. "Greinke feels OK other than where he took his shot. He feels fine," said Royals manager Trey Hillman. ... Royals RHP Kyle Davies was scratched from Saturday's start because of a sore oblique. Rookie LHP Dusty Hughes will make his first major league start in the place of Davies.