The Cleveland Indians have been dominant on the road this season. Playing at home, however, has proven to be a major problem.
Kansas City added to the Indians’ home woes on Thursday, scoring three runs in the fifth inning en route to a 4-2 victory.
The loss was Cleveland’s sixth in eight games at Progressive Field in 2012, which has largely negated its 7-2 record on the road.
“It’s just a fluke. It has nothing to do with coming back home,” Indians pitcher Josh Tomlin said. “I think it’s just a fluke and we’ll play better here, for sure.”
Indians manager Manny Acta doesn’t think the early problems at home are the beginning of a trend.
“We love playing here,” said Acta, whose team was 44-37 at home in 2011. “We scored a lot of runs here last year. It’s four bases and a mound everywhere you go. It’s just a coincidence the way we’re playing at home right now.”
Tomlin (1-2) allowed four runs and eight hits in 42/3 innings. The right-hander gave up Jeff Francoeur’s go-ahead RBI single with two outs in the fifth, then was knocked out of the game when Mike Moustakas followed with a run-scoring hit.
Royals catcher Brayan Pena greeted Cleveland reliever Dan Wheeler with a third straight RBI single to make it 4-1.
Cleveland only managed two runs off Royals starter Luis Mendoza (1-2), who scattered four hits over five-plus innings. On April 15, the right-hander allowed nine runs in four innings in a 13-7 loss to the Indians.
“Mendoza was throwing the same stuff, but I think he was sharper this time,” Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner said.