The long ball from Billy Butler, Eric Hosmer and Alex Gordon, provided Kansas City with what it needed to bust a 12-game losing streak as the Royals bombed Cleveland 8-2 on Wednesday night before 10,552 at Progressive Field.
The Royals, who won for the first time since April 10, broke on top early when Butler hit the first of his two home runs for a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Hosmer then pushed the Royals lead to 4-0 in the fifth when he delivered a 2-run shot against Tribe starter Ubaldo Jimenez (2-1) while Kansas City starter Luke Hochevar (2-1) kept the Indians off balance for 6.1 innings, giving up two runs on four hits.
“Hochever threw a very good game,” admitted Cleveland manager Manny Acta. “He kept us in check. He made pitches when he was in trouble. We have to take care of our 27 outs.”
Acta was speaking of the Tribe first inning when Carlos Santana singled with one out to move Asdrubal Cabrera to third but was caught trying to stretch it into a double and became the second out of the inning.
As was the case the night before in a 4-3 win, Cleveland was unable to take full advantage of any chances they had against Hochevar, who in an earlier meeting with the Indians surrendered a 7-run first inning.
Trailing 4-0 in the sixth, the Indians loaded the bases with one out but only tallied once on a ground out by Travis Hafner. Hochevar, facing a 2-on, 2-out situation, got Shelley Duncan on strikes to end the inning with the Royals still ahead, 4-1.
The Tribe had chance to draw even in the seventh after Aaron Cunningham’s RBI single cut the Royals lead to 4-2. Tommy Hottovy, on in relief of Hochevar, then got Michael Brantley on strikes and Aaron Crow got Cabrera on a fly ball with the tying runs on second and third.
The Royals then put it away with a 4-run ninth against Jairo Asencio with three coming on Gordon’s third home run and another on Butler’s second of the game.
Gordon, Butler and Hosner combined to go 7-for-13 with six RBI and four runs scored while Chris Getz went 2-for-4 and scored twice.
The 3-game series ends with a Thursday noon contest with Josh Tomlin (1-1) going for Cleveland and Luis Mendoza (0-2) taking the hill for the Royals.