|Kansas City (4-14) «||2||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||4||8||11||0|
CLEVELAND -- Now the Kansas City Royals want to start a streak they can be proud of -- a winning streak.
"A big win, we all felt it and now we want to go run with it," Butler said. "There's too much talent on this team to be losing."
Butler's two-run blast off Ubaldo Jimenez (2-1) put the Royals ahead in the first inning. 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 homer in the fifth made it 4-0 -- the Royals' largest lead since April 8, when they beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-3.
"I'm just glad we did it," manager Ned Yost said of ending the streak, which tied for the third-longest in team history, seven short of the Royals' record worst in 2005.
"I didn't care how we did it. It's a big monkey off our back," he said. "Now we can focus on day-to-day baseball."
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Before the game, Yost expressed confidence the Royals would start winning. He rattled off several instances of when he managed Milwaukee in 2003-08 and the Brewers followed a long losing streak with a number of wins.
"Fans have expectations of this team," Yost said. "Well, these guys do, too. They have all been together as winners in the minors. This has been tough, but they are going to break out."
The youngest team in the majors did it in a big way and got good pitching, too.
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 Cleveland battered him for seven runs in the first inning of an 8-3 loss.
The Royals went 0-10 on the homestand.
"A huge start by Hochevar, after they whacked him around pretty good last time," Yost said.
Hochevar worked on a tender right ankle that he hurt in his previous start. He appeared to stumble off the mound when he had to cover first base to retire the first batter he faced.
"I didn't really tweak it, it's just a little weak," Hochevar said. "I can still make plays. I'll be OK."
Gordon had three hits, raising his average 30 points to .197. He fouled off several pitches in the ninth before connecting for his third homer.
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.
"It probably looked like Jason was closer to the ball, but that's not what we preach around here," Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. "What we preach around here is you collide going after a ball. You don't look at each other. We have ice. We have a training staff. You don't look at each other and let a ball drop. Unfortunately, that cost us."
Cleveland loaded the bases with one out in the sixth on a single and two walks. Hosmer made a diving stop of a sharp grounder by Travis Hafner and threw to second for a force as a run scored to make it 4-1.
Hochevar left after walking Kipnis with one out in the seventh.
Tommy Hottovy, called up from Triple-A Omaha, promptly hit Casey Kotchman, who was 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.
Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo sat out with a tight left hamstring. Choo is a .600 hitter (15 of 25) with 12 RBI in his career against Hochevar. He isn't expected to go to the disabled list.
Jimenez gave up six hits and four runs over six innings.
|Billy Butler hits two of the Royals' four homers as they end a skid (12) that was tied for the club's third longest. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Kansas City Royals|
|Chris Getz, 2B||4||2||2||0||1||1||0||.333|
|Alex Gordon, LF||5||2||3||3||0||0||2||.197|
|Billy Butler, DH||5||2||2||3||0||0||3||.292|
|Eric Hosmer, 1B||3||1||2||2||2||0||0||.225|
|Jeff Francoeur, RF||5||0||1||0||0||1||3||.225|
|Mike Moustakas, 3B||2||0||0||0||2||0||4||.290|
|Humberto Quintero, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||4||.286|
|Mitch Maier, CF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.235|
|Alcides Escobar, SS||4||1||1||0||0||0||0||.303|
|2B - Alcides Escobar (6, Asencio)|
|HR - Alex Gordon (3, Asencio), Billy Butler 2 (4, Jimenez, Asencio), Eric Hosmer (5, Jimenez)|
|RBI - Alex Gordon 3 (8), Billy Butler 3 (13), Eric Hosmer 2 (12)|
|2-OUT RBI - Eric Hosmer 2 (7)|
|SB - Mike Moustakas (1, 2nd base off R. Perez/Santana)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Outfield Assists - Jeff Francoeur 1|
|PB - Humberto Quintero (1)|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Luke Hochevar (W,2-1)||6.1||4||2||2||3||4||0||4.98|
|Tommy Hottovy (H,1)||0.1||1||0||0||0||1||0||0.00|
|Aaron Crow (H,3)||1.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.61|
|HBP - Kotchman (by Tommy Hottovy)|
|WP - Aaron Crow (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Luke Hochevar 97-57, Tommy Hottovy 7-4, Aaron Crow 18-13, Jose Mijares 11-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Luke Hochevar 8-6, Aaron Crow 1-2, Jose Mijares 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Luke Hochevar 25, Tommy Hottovy 3, Aaron Crow 4, Jose Mijares 3|
|Michael Brantley, CF||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.200|
|Asdrubal Cabrera, SS||3||0||1||0||1||0||2||.304|
|Carlos Santana, C||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.250|
|Travis Hafner, DH||4||0||1||1||0||0||1||.327|
|Shelley Duncan, LF||4||0||0||0||0||3||3||.250|
|Jack Hannahan, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||2||0||.333|
|Jason Kipnis, 2B||3||1||0||0||1||1||0||.226|
|Casey Kotchman, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.140|
|Aaron Cunningham, RF||3||0||1||1||0||0||0||.217|
|2B - Travis Hafner (4, Hochevar)|
|RBI - Travis Hafner (9), Aaron Cunningham (1)|
|SB - Michael Brantley (2, 3rd base off Hochevar/Quintero)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Outfield Assists - Michael Brantley 1|
|DP - Brantley-Hannahan-Kipnis, A. Cabrera-Kipnis-Kotchman|
|Ubaldo Jimenez (L,2-1)||6||6||4||4||3||2||2||4.50|
|WP - Ubaldo Jimenez (3)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ubaldo Jimenez 113-64, Dan Wheeler 13-9, Rafael Perez 16-4, Jairo Asencio 26-17|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ubaldo Jimenez 5-10, Dan Wheeler 1-2, Rafael Perez 1-1, Jairo Asencio 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Ubaldo Jimenez 26, Dan Wheeler 4, Rafael Perez 4, Jairo Asencio 7|
|Attendance - 10552|
|Game Time - 2:50|
|Temperature - 55|
|Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Dana DeMuth, Third Base - Kerwin Danley|