Created on Saturday, 05 July 2014 Written by AP
CLEVELAND (AP) — One start after the best outing of his career, Josh Tomlin tumbled back to reality.
Tomlin (5-6) gave up five runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings, including a three-run homer to Mike Moustakas in the sixth, and the Cleveland Indians fell to Kansas City 7-1 on Friday night.
Tomlin was coming off a one-hit, no-walk, 11-strikeout performance against Seattle, but couldn't find his groove against the Royals.
"I thought he pitched better than his line score," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Obviously the three-run homer kind of skews it a little bit. (Trailing) 2-0 isn't where we want to be but you give yourself a fighting chance. And then the home run really spread it out."
Moustakas' home run ended any realistic chance the Indians had against rookie right-hander Yordano Ventura, who took a shutout into the ninth.
"It was just a cutter that caught too much of the plate," Tomlin said. "It was something I wasn't trying to do but every now and then you make mistakes and when you do, a big-league hitter is supposed to capitalize on it and that's what he did."
Tomlin retired the first 12 hitters against the Mariners before allowing a leadoff single to Kyle Seager in the fifth, Seattle's only baserunner. Tomlin's gem marked the sixth time an Indians pitcher recorded 11 strikeouts with no walks in a shutout over the past 100 years.
It was also only the third time since 2002 that a pitcher has recorded a one-hit shutout with at least 11 strikeouts and no walks.
Tomlin held the Royals to two runs through five inning, but Moustakas' two-out homer knocked him from the game.
"That blow kind of took the wind out of us a little bit," Tomlin.
Ventura (6-7) nearly had his first career complete game, shutting the Indians out before Michael Brantley led off the ninth with a solo homer. Ventura got Carlos Santana to ground out, but was pulled after Jason Kipnis singled.
Still, it was the longest outing of the 23-year-old right-hander's career.
"He's a pitcher that you have to attack, one of those pitchers you want to try to get to early and not let him settle in," Indians center fielder Michael Bourn said. "We had a couple chances but for the most part he was on tonight."
Ventura retired the first 10 hitters before Brantley singled with one out in the fourth. Santana's single moved Brantley to third, but Kipnis bounced into a double play.
In three career starts against the Indians, Ventura has given up three runs in 21 innings.
"He throws 98-100 (mph) with a really good changeup," Francona said. "It's not just been us, he's pretty good."
The offensive struggles against Ventura continue a frustrating trend for the Indians, who were held to one hit in consecutive games this week, a 3-0 loss to Felix Hernandez on Sunday and a 1-0 loss against Dan Haren and the Dodgers on Monday.
Over their last four losses, the Indians have only scored three runs.
Salvador Perez and Christian Colon, making his first major-league start, had three hits apiece while Lorenzo Cain snapped an 0 for 11 skid with an RBI single in the third and a run-scoring double in the fifth.
Colon, a late addition to the lineup when second baseman Omar Infante was scratched with lower back tightness, was 3 for 4, including a triple in the second for his first major-league hit. Colon added a double in the fifth and an RBI double in the ninth.
The Royals, who are second in the AL Central, are 3-1 on a nine-game road trip and lead third-place Cleveland by four games.
The Indians, who opened a 10-game homestand, have lost four straight at home after winning 11 of 12 at Progressive Field. Cleveland was swept by Detroit in a three-game series June 20-22.
Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera was 0 for 4 and is in a 4 for 35 skid.
NOTES: DH Nick Swisher went 0 for 3 with a walk and two strikeouts, as his average fell to .194. Since being activated from the disabled list on June 12, Swisher has 26 strikeouts and three walks. ... The Indians announced the game as a sellout, their third of the season. ... Indians C Yan Gomes, a native of Brazil, wore his country's soccer jersey during batting practice. He kept an eye on the scoreboard, which showed Brazil's 2-1 win over Colombia in the World Cup. ... Royals RHP Jeremy Guthrie (5-6) faces LHP T.J. House (0-2) on Saturday.