Kansas City at Cleveland

W: L. Hochevar (2-1) L: U. Jimenez (2-1)
HR: KC - B. Butler (3),E. Hosmer (5),A. Gordon (3),B. Butler (4)   CLE - None

Butler's HRs help Royals end skid at 12

CBSSports.com wire reports

CLEVELAND -- Now the Kansas City Royals want to start a streak they can be proud of -- a winning streak.

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 on Wednesday night.

"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.


  • Kansas City snapped a 12-game losing streak in 2008 against the Indians with a home win.
  • Royals OF Lorenzo Cain, out since April 11 with a strained left groin, returned to Kansas City after hurting his hip while on a minor-league rehab assignment at Triple-A Omaha.
  • RHP Jeremy Jeffress was optioned to Omaha when the Royals added Hottovy.
  • Acta said Choo's injury will not affect the timetable for OF Johnny Damon, who signed last week and is at the Indians' training complex in Goodyear, Ariz. The 38-year-old is expected to join Cleveland in early May.
  • Indians OF Grady Sizemore, who had back surgery March 1, ran in the outfield and played catch during pregame. He is scheduled to hit off a batting tee this weekend.
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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)
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
Kansas City

B. Butler
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 2
Kansas City

E. Hosmer
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Kansas City Royals
Chris Getz, 2B4220110 .333
Alex Gordon, LF5233002 .197
Billy Butler, DH5223003 .292
Eric Hosmer, 1B3122200 .225
Jeff Francoeur, RF5010013 .225
Mike Moustakas, 3B2000204 .290
Humberto Quintero, C4000004 .286
Mitch Maier, CF4000001 .235
Alcides Escobar, SS4110000 .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) 6.1422340 4.98
Tommy Hottovy (H,1) 0.1100010 0.00
Aaron Crow (H,3) 1.1000010 2.61
Jose Mijares 1000020 3.00
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
Cleveland Indians
Michael Brantley, CF4110012 .200
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS3010102 .304
Carlos Santana, C3010100 .250
Travis Hafner, DH4011001 .327
Shelley Duncan, LF4000033 .250
Jack Hannahan, 3B4000020 .333
Jason Kipnis, 2B3100110 .226
Casey Kotchman, 1B3000010 .140
Aaron Cunningham, RF3011000 .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
Cleveland Indians
Ubaldo Jimenez (L,2-1) 6644322 4.50
Dan Wheeler 1100000 4.50
Rafael Perez 1000200 3.52
Jairo Asencio 1444002 7.15
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
Game Information
Attendance - 10552
Game Time - 2:50
Temperature - 55
Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Dana DeMuth, Third Base - Kerwin Danley