Luke Hochevar's modus operandi has been to pitch well for several innings and then give up the big inning. He would look like a Cy Young Award candidate for five innings and a struggling No. 5 starter the next inning.
In 2009, he had 16 innings where he yielded three or more runs, including one seven-run inning and a six-run frame. It appeared Hochevar conquered that in 2010, but the big inning reared its ugly head again Wednesday night.
Hochevar pitched five perfect innings to start the game, but in the sixth gave up four runs on five hits, a walk and two balks in the Royals' 7-5 loss to the Indians. He threw 60 pitches the first five innings and 36 in the sixth.
After walking the first two batters in the seventh, Hochevar was replaced by rookie Tim Collins. Both runners wound up scoring.
Hochevar ended his previous outing by retiring the final 16 Mariners batters he faced, including 12 on grounders. He retired 31 straight batters before Michael Brantley led off the sixth with a single up the middle.
The 31 consecutive batters retired was two shy of the club record set by Steve Busby in June 1974.
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