Randy Wells was still on the mound at the start of the seventh inning for the Chicago Cubs, even after it appeared he wouldn't make it through the first. Alex Gordon extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an RBI double in Kansas City's four-run first inning and Luke Hochevar won again under the sun as the Royals beat Chicago 6-3 on Sunday.
"It was just bad pitching on my part," Wells said. "I didn'tmake the adjustment and got us into a 4-0 hole. The four in thefirst happened so fast. I'm pretty embarrassed about it. This one'sall on my shoulders."
Wells (1-2) labored into the seventh, however, when he wasremoved after giving up a leadoff single to Melky Cabrera on his96th pitch. The right-hander allowed six runs and 10 hits whilewalking two and striking out two.
"I was actually pretty happy," Wells said about going thatdeep. "I've been on a tight leash and a short pitch count. I knewif I didn't get the first guy I was probably out. Still, there arenot a whole lot of positives from this game. I felt great and I getbeat."
Wells, who gave up just five hits over six innings in hisprevious start, has not won since April 4. After a shaky start inwhich manager Mike Quade had Rodrigo Lopez warming up in thebullpen in the first, Wells lasted six-plus innings, allowing sixruns and 10 hits.
"They got several hits in the first before we even knew whathit us," Quade said. "Runs are just as valuable in the firstinning. He settled down, but it was already too much damage. He wasinconsistent. You want to hope it's effects of the down time. He'shad one or two starts where he's shown that. He was so good inspring training. We'd like to see the guy we saw in the spring."
Hochevar is 9-3 with a 4.43 ERA in 14 day starts the past twoseasons, compared to 2-11 with a 5.28 ERA in 21 appearances atnight.
He picked up just his second victory in his last 10 starts, withboth coming in afternoon games.
"I don't pay attention to that stuff," Hochevar said."Whether it's day or night, I've got to go out and do exactly thesame thing. I don't get into that. I've pitched good in day. I'vepitched good at night. It doesn't matter."
Hochevar (5-8) departed after 5 2-3 innings. He gave up threeruns on seven hits while walking three and striking out five. LouisColeman struck out D.J. LeMahieu to end the sixth with the basesloaded.
The six runs were the most the Royals have scored since June 14when they won 7-4 at Oakland. The Royals banged out 13 hits, withevery starter having at least one except Mike Moustakas.
"When you get a lead like that, you can't let them inch backin," Hochevar said. "That's what I was trying to do, keep themback in that corner and not let them try to wiggle their way out.It was really big for our offense to come in and pick me up earlyand put six on the board."
The Royals started with their first six batters reaching in thefirst. Cabrera led off with a bunt single and stopped at second onEric Hosmer's single. Billy Butler delivered an RBI single.Gordon's double scored Hosmer before Jeff Francoeur, who had threehits, added a run-scoring single.
"The only really bad pitch was to Butler. I left that one up,"Wells said. "The others, they went down and got them. It was goodhitters making good adjustments. I didn't make the adjustment. Ireally feel like I let the team down."
After Moustakas walked, Matt Treanor's sacrifice fly scoredGordon.
"We wanted to come out and set the tone like we did," Gordonsaid. "To get four runs, especially for Hoch, he can go out andrelax. He pitched a good game."
The Cubs trimmed their deficit to 4-3. Geovany Soto, who went 3for 3 and walked, led off the third with a home run, his second intwo games. In a two-run fourth, Reed Johnson doubled with two outsand scored on Blake DeWitt's single. Soto's double scored DeWitt.
The Royals padded their lead with two runs in the fourth. ChrisGetz and Hosmer each had an RBI single.
"The tack-on runs to get us back to a three-run lead was big,"Royals manager Ned Yost. "The two runs in the fourth were huge. Itkind of took the momentum away from them. It was key to have alittle breathing room after the score got back to 4-3.The first sixguys in our lineup reached base, but to Wells' credit, he settleddown and got them deep into the game."
Joakim Soria worked the ninth for his 13th save in 18opportunities.
Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro singled in the first to extend hishitting streak to a career-high 10 games. He ranks second in theNational League with 104 hits.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun