C.C. Sabathia was looking for more consistency in the second half of the season. Thus far, the left-hander hasn’t been able to find any.
He’ll try to avoid his third loss in as many starts when the struggling Indians continue a four-game series with the visiting Kansas City Royals.
Sabathia returned from the All-Star break hoping to put an inconsistent first half behind him. But he surrendered four runs in the first inning of Friday’s 7-1 loss to the first-place Chicago White Sox.
Despite the rough start to his outing, Sabathia settled down to toss four scoreless innings thereafter, finishing with a season-high nine strikeouts.
“When you talk effort-wise, it’s the best he’s been this year,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said of Sabathia. “Obviously, things weren’t going his way, but he regrouped and kept going.”
Sabathia has struggled at home this year, going 1-4 with a 5.96 ERA in nine starts. He is 0-4 in his last seven outings at Jacobs Field since beating the Royals 6-0 on April 29.
For his career, Sabathia is 23-23 with a 4.29 ERA in 69 home starts, and 37-18 with a 4.08 ERA in 74 road outings.
The Indians have lost 10 of their last 12, and been shut out three times in their last six games, including Tuesday’s 4-0 loss.
Zach Greinke pitched seven strong innings and Emil Brown homered for the Royals, who improved to 4-3 against Cleveland this year.
Ambiorix Burgos worked the eighth and Mike MacDougal finished the combined five-hitter as the Royals posted their second shutout in three games—the first time they have done that on the road since 1992.
The last-place Royals have won two of three, and are 3-3 on an eight-game road trip.