Royals end 12-game losing streak, beat Indians 8-2
CLEVELAND—Billy Butler hit two of Kansas City's four home runs to help the Royals snap a 12-game losing streak by beating the Cleveland Indians 8-2 Wednesday night.
Butler's two-run blast off Ubaldo Jimenez (2-1) put the Royals ahead in the first. He added a solo shot in the ninth off reliever Jairo Asencio, following Alex Gordon's three-run homer against the reliever.
Eric Hosmer's two-run shot in the fifth made it 4-0 -- the Royals' largest lead since April 8, when they beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-3.
Luke Hochevar (2-1) allowed four hits and two runs over 6 1-3 innings, recovering from a horrendous home opener start April 13 when he gave up seven runs in the first inning of an 8-3 loss to Cleveland.
The Royals went 0-10 on the homestand.
Their 12-game loss streak tied for the third longest in team history, seven short of the record worst in 2005.
Gordon had three hits, raising his average 30 points to .197.
In the first, Chris Getz drew a leadoff walk and Butler belted a 2-1 pitch for his third homer -- and first hit in seven career at-bats against Jimenez.
In the fourth, Gordon reached on a one-out single when his grounder went between shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and second baseman Jason Kipnis, who both pulled up and appeared to think the other had it. One out later, Hosmer hit his fifth homer to left.
Even in victory, the young Royals had one gaffe. In the sixth, Mike Moustakas was on second with one out when Mitch Maier flied out to center. Moustakas tagged up and beat the throw to third.
Third baseman Jack Hannahan thought Moustakas left too early and alertly threw to second baseman Kipnis, who stepped on the bag for the unusual 8-5-4 double play.
Cleveland loaded the bases with one out in the bottom half on a single by Michael Brantley and walks to Cabrera and Carlos Santana. Hosmer made a diving stop of a sharp grounder by Travis Hafner and threw to second for a force as Brantley scored to make it 4-1. Hochevar then struck out Shelley Duncan on a breaking ball well off the plate to end the threat.
Hochevar left after walking Kipnis with one out in the seventh.
Tommy Hottovy, called up from Triple-A Omaha, promptly hit Casey Kotchman, in an 0-for-21 slump, with his first pitch. Aaron Cunningham followed with a single up the middle to score Kipnis, cutting the Royals' lead to 4-2.
Hottovy struck out Michael Brantley and was replaced by right-hander Aaron Crow, who wild-pitched the runners to second and third before getting Cabrera to fly out to left.
The Royals got a break when Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo sat out with a tight left hamstring. Choo is a .600 hitter (15 of 25) with 12 RBIs in his career against Hochevar. Manager Manny Acta said he doesn't expect Choo to go to the disabled list.
Jimenez gave up six hits and four runs over six innings.
NOTES: RHP Jeremy Jeffress was optioned to Omaha when the Royals added Hottovy. Manager Ned Yost said part of the reason for the move was getting another lefty available to face Cleveland's left-handed oriented lineup. ... Acta said Choo's injury will not affect the timetable for OF Johnny Damon to join the Indians. Damon signed a minor-league contract last week and is at the Indians' training complex in Goodyear, Ariz. The 38-year-old is expected to join the Indians in early May. ... Cleveland OF Grady Sizemore, who had back surgery March 1, ran in the outfield and played catch Wednesday, and is scheduled to hit off a batting tee this weekend.