CLEVELAND (AP) — Now the Kansas City Royals want to start a streak they can be proud of — a winning streak.
Billy Butler hit two of Kansas City's four home runs to help the Royals snap a 12-game losing streak by beating the Cleveland Indians 8-2 on Wednesday night.
"A big win, we all felt it and now we want to go run with it," Butler said. "There's too much talent on this team to be losing."
Butler's two-run blast off Ubaldo Jimenez (2-1) put the Royals ahead in the first inning. He added a solo shot in the ninth off reliever Jairo Asencio, following Alex Gordon's three-run homer against the reliever.
Eric Hosmer's two-run homer in the fifth made it 4-0 — the Royals' largest lead since April 8, when they beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-3.
"I'm just glad we did it," manager Ned Yost said of ending the streak, which tied for the third-longest in team history, seven short of the Royals' record worst in 2005.
"I didn't care how we did it. It's a big monkey off our back," he said. "Now we can focus on day-to-day baseball."
Before the game, Yost expressed confidence the Royals would start winning. He rattled off several instances of when he managed Milwaukee in 2003-08 and the Brewers followed a long losing streak with a number of wins.
"Fans have expectations of this team," Yost said. "Well, these guys do, too. They have all been together as winners in the minors. This has been tough, but they are going to break out."
The youngest team in the majors did it in a big way and got good pitching, too.
Luke Hochevar (2-1) allowed four hits and two runs over 6 1-3 innings, recovering from a horrendous home opener start April 13 when Cleveland battered him for seven runs in the first inning of an 8-3 loss.
The Royals went 0-10 on the homestand.
"A huge start by Hochevar, after they whacked him around pretty good last time," Yost said.
Hochevar worked on a tender right ankle that he hurt in his previous start. He appeared to stumble off the mound when he had to cover first base to retire the first batter he faced.
"I didn't really tweak it, it's just a little weak," Hochevar said. "I can still make plays. I'll be OK."
Gordon had three hits, raising his average 30 points to .197. He fouled off several pitches in the ninth before connecting for his third homer.