The Indians are coming off consecutive shutout losses to the Chicago White Sox, including a 3-0 defeat Thursday. Cleveland was outscored 17-0 in the first two games of a nine-game homestand to fall six games behind the division-leading Minnesota Twins.
Cleveland had not been shut out in consecutive games since April 27-28, 1993, at Seattle and had not been shut out at home in two straight games since 1991.
The Indians entered the homestand as one of the hottest hitting teams in baseball. During a six-game road trip to Seattle and Anaheim, Cleveland hit 21 homers and scored 52 runs while batting .329.
Cleveland, which will celebrate 10 years at Jacobs Field this weekend, still leads the majors with 526 runs scored and rank fourth-best with a .279 team batting average.
The Royals earned just their 13th road victory in 44 games this season with the help of Mike Sweeney, who celebrated his 31st birthday Thursday. The first basemen powered the Royals with a grand slam and a three-run shot in a 13-7 victory over the Detroit Tigers. He was just 2-for-20 over the previous five games, with one RBI.
“That’s just what makes this game so great,” said Sweeney, whose seven RBIs matched a club record and were a career high. “One day you go out and have 17, 18 hits. Then the next, you might only get two. But the only thing we’re going to do is give 100 percent effort every single day.”
Ken Harvey also homered for the Royals, who snapped a three-game losing streak and are 4-4 since the All-Star break.