Denney, who was 10-5 with a 4.41 ERA at Triple-A Buffalo, was supposed to pitch in the International League playoffs before being called up to start against Detroit on Tuesday. The 27-year-old right-hander was pounded for eight runs and 10 hits over 3 1-3 innings in an 11-3 loss to the Tigers.
“I was obviously a little nervous,” said Denney, who had four family members in the crowd. “Being nervous is something you get over after the first couple of pitches. I still had a job to do. It was not a very good outing on my part.”
Denney will try to help the Indians avert a three-game sweep to their AL Central rivals.
Angel Berroa had three hits and an RBI for the Royals, who are 8-8 in September and earned consecutive road victories for the first time since June 16-17.
Josh Phelps went 2-for-4 for Cleveland, which managed just four hits en route to its 11th loss in 15 games.
Before the game Saturday, the Indians announced that outfielder Jody Gerut will be sidelined six to nine months with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He was hurt when he fell on the right-field warning track during the Indians’ 6-4 loss Friday night.