CLEVELAND (AP) — Derek Lowe allowed one run over six innings and the Cleveland Indians handed the Kansas City Royals their 12th straight loss, 4-3 on Tuesday night.
The Royals have been outscored 73-44 during the streak, which ties for third-longest in team history. They also lost 12 in a row in 1997 and 2008. Kansas City lost 13 straight in 2006 and had a team-record 19 consecutive losses in 2005.
Cleveland built upon a recently completed 7-2 trip by returning to Progressive Field and earning their second home win in six games.
Lowe (3-1) gave up eight hits and struck out five. Chris Perez got his seventh save, allowing a ninth-inning run.
Jack Hannahan had a two-run double in Cleveland’s three-run fifth against Jonathan Sanchez (1-1).
Beforehand, the Royals continued to try anything to get out of their funk. On Monday, they vented frustrations in a closed-door pregame meeting in which voices were raised in anger. Before opening a three-game series in Cleveland, players gathered around a clubhouse television to play a baseball video game.
That didn’t help, either.
Sanchez hit Indians leadoff batter Jason Kipnis in the hand with his fifth pitch. Kipnis eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Santana to put Cleveland ahead 1-0.
On April 14, Sanchez hit Shin-Soo Choo with a pitch. Indians starter Jeanmar Gomez retaliated the next inning by plunking the Royals’ Mike Moustakas, leading to a brief bench-clearing scuffle. Gomez drew a five-game suspension and was suspended along with Hannahan and manager Manny Acta.
A year ago with San Francisco, Sanchez broke Choo’s left thumb with a pitch. The Royals acquired him in a trade for outfielder Melky Cabrera in November.
Sanchez walked the bases loaded in the second, but got Kipnis on a first-pitch popout, followed by a double-play grounder by Asdrubal Cabrera.
The left-hander also loaded the bases with walks in the fifth. One run scored on a sacrifice fly by Shelley Duncan.
Hannahan followed with a double to right-center to make it 4-1 and finish Sanchez.
Sanchez walked seven over 4 2-3 innings, allowing four runs and four hits. He threw 115 pitches, only 56 for strikes.
Mitch Maier had an RBI single for Kansas City in the fourth and doubled home a run in the eighth. Overall, the Royals went 4 for 13 with runners in scoring position. The Royals are 13 for 73 (.178) in that situation over their last eight games.
Kansas City closed to 4-3 in the ninth. Chris Getz doubled and later scored on a groundout by Billy Butler.
Lowe used a good sinker to record nine outs on grounders. The right-hander bounced back from a 4-1 loss at Seattle in which he walked six without a strikeout on April 18.
Notes — Cleveland went 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position and left 13 runners on base. ... Indians DH Travis Hafner walked twice. He has reached by hit, walk or hit by pitch in 16 of his last 23 plate appearances. ... Hannahan made a diving backhand stop to rob Jeff Francoeur of a hit in the fourth. ... Royals manager Ned Yost expects OF Lorenzo Cain (left groin strain) to return Friday. Cain has been on the DL since April 11. ... Cleveland’s Aaron Cunningham started in center field, moved to left and played the ninth in right, when Choo left with an undisclosed injury. INF Jason Donald went to left field, his first appearance in the outfield in the majors.