Cy Young winner Kluber still winless after loss to Royals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Corey Kluber knows his record, but would prefer not to dwell on it.
The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner remained winless through seven starts this season after the Kansas City Royals beat the Cleveland Indians 7-4 on Thursday.
“Whether it’s good or bad I don’t think you dwell on it,” Kluber said. “Each start is its own thing. That’s when things compound on you when you try to look at three starts or five starts or whatever.”
Kluber (0-5) 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.
He 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.”
The first four Royals hitters scored off Kluber — capped by Eric Hosmer’s three-run homer — and he did not retire a batter until his 18th pitch.
“It’s a guy you would never anticipate being 0-5, definitely not,” Hosmer said. “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 out.
“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.”
He did settle down after Hosmer’s homer before giving up a run on three hits in the sixth.
“Aside from the ball Hosmer hit there wasn’t a whole lot to be unpleased with, besides falling behind guys early on,” said Kluber, who was 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA last year. “I really just kept with the game plan. I’m trying not to read more into it than what it was.”
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 for the Royals, 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 for his fifth save.
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. He clobbered the 2-0 pitch out to center field with Mike Moustakas, who had three hits, and Lorenzo Cain aboard.
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.
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 INF 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 starts at Progressive Field.
Royals: RHP Yordano Ventura will make his first start since April 29, after completing his seven-game suspension.