KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Jeremy Sowers had already seen what the Kansas City Royals could do to an opponent's early lead.
He gave them little chance to do it to him.
Given a five-run cushion in the first inning, Sowers scattered six hits over seven innings and earned his first win of the season in the Cleveland Indians' 10-3 victory Thursday night.
"We played great defense, hit the ball well and I actually pitched decent, finally," said Sowers, who won for the first time since beating Toronto 7-2 on Sept. 5, 2006. "Whether it's a turnaround, time will tell -- but it's a step in the right direction."
Despite Sowers' early-season struggles, manager Eric Wedge said he had not lost confidence in the young left-hander.
"I trust him, first of all - as a person, in his ability and as a kid who does the work," Wedge said. "He's very cerebral in his work, which for a young player can work against you at times. But I think he's pointing in the right direction."
The Royals, who came back from first-inning deficits of 2-0 and 3-0 to win the first two games of the series, couldn't get out of the hole this time.
Jason Michaels capped Cleveland's five-run first inning with a three-run homer. Casey Blake added a three-run triple and also doubled for the Indians, who have the majors' best home record at 17-4 but are still two games under .500 (11-13) on the road.
Ryan Garko had three hits for Cleveland, including a two-run single in the first.
Sowers, who had one walk and one strikeout, was relieved by Roberto Hernandez to start the eighth.
Hernandez gave up Shane Costa's RBI single and left after walking Alex Gordon to load the bases with two out. Aaron Fultz walked Ryan Shealy, forcing in a run that got Kansas City within 10-3.
Mike Koplove relieved Fultz and ended the threat when he got John Buck, who had already homered twice in the series, to line out to left field.
The Indians, who also denied Kansas City its first series sweep of the year, took advantage of early control problems by starter Jorge De La Rosa (4-4) as the Royals lost for just the third time in their last 11 games.
De La Rosa allowed a career-high seven walks -- one intentional -- and hit a batter in 4 1/3 innings. He gave up nine runs and six hits with two strikeouts, and his ERA went up from 3.59 to 4.65.
"He didn't establish his fastball early," manager Buddy Bell said. "He didn't get a strike call here or there, and he didn't know where to go with it. You've still got to keep throwing the pitch. He didn't seem like the same guy."
Joel Peralta relieved De La Rosa with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth. Peralta got Andy Marte to pop out in foul territory, but then walked Grady Sizemore to force in a run that put Cleveland up 7-1.
Blake followed with a bases-clearing triple down the line in right field, making it 10-1.
Three of De La Rosa's walks came in the Indians' five-run first. All the runs scored with two out.
Travis Hafner walked, and Victor Martinez's single and a walk to Jhonny Peralta loaded the bases. Garko's single to left scored Hafner and Martinez, and Michaels followed with his homer to left field for a 5-0 lead.
"He lost his composure," Bell said. "Two out, nobody on, and before you know it, we're down five runs."
Hafner walked again in the second, increasing his league-leading total to 42, and Martinez's RBI single later in the inning put the Indians up 6-0.
Esteban German matched a career high with four hits for the Royals. Three were infield singles.
Fultz faced two batters in the series, and gave up bases-loaded walks both times. ... Michaels was denied another RBI in the sixth inning, when Garko tried to score from second on Michaels' single but was thrown out from left field by German. The Royals' 15 outfield assists tie them with Minnesota for the AL lead. ... Both of German's four-hit games have come against the Indians. He did it Sept. 12, 2006 at Cleveland. ... Cleveland's win gave each team 243 wins against the other, in a series dating to the Royals' expansion season in 1969. ... The Royals started German in left field to give Emil Brown a rest. Bell said Brown has a sore back but could play if needed. ... Kansas City's David DeJesus extended his hitting streak to eight games.