Danny Duffy steps in and pitches Royals to win vs. Indians

CLEVELAND -- Not even word that pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez had passed his physical could put a smile on Manny Acta's face Sunday afternoon.

Cleveland's manager had just watched his team lose 5-3 to Kansas City, which completed a 2-6 homestand and dropped the Indians 2½ games behind Detroit in the AL Central.

"To lose three series in a row in front of our own fans is very disappointing," Acta said.

The fact Saturday's blockbuster trade with Colorado was official, giving the Indians an ace pitcher at the top of their rotation, was the only good news Acta got all week.

Cleveland's two wins on the homestand came on ninth-inning rallies. Rookie Jason Kipnis' first major league hit drove in the winning run for a victory over Los Angeles on Monday and Matt LaPorta's three-run homer capped a comeback in Saturday's victory over Kansas City.

Other than that, the homestand was entirely forgettable. The Indians were no-hit by the Angels' Ervin Santana and committed five errors on Wednesday. Cleveland suffered a 12-0 loss against the Royals on Friday.

The Indians were outscored 33-15, which doesn't bode well considering they open a seven-game trip to Boston and Texas that begins Monday night in Fenway Park.

"We didn't swing the bats very well this homestand," designated hitter Travis Hafner said. "We're going to have to score more runs on this trip because we're playing good offensive teams. We have to start playing better to help out confidence."

Acta realizes the upcoming trip could be the defining moment of the season.

"We've got to go on the road and battle now," he said. "We're going to play two very good teams."

Cleveland's latest loss came at the hands of an emergency starter. Danny Duffy, starting for the injured Kyle Davies, pitched into the sixth inning and Jeff Francoeur and Alex Gordon homered for Kansas City, sending the Indians to their eighth loss in 10 games.

The last-place Royals have won eight of 12.

Fausto Carmona (5-11) allowed four runs in 7 1/3 innings. The right-hander has one win since June 15 and Acta was less than enthusiastic about the outing.

"He's throwing well," Acta said. "That's all I'm going to say. I've seen him and a couple of our guys put together six or seven good ones and go back. I don't want to swallow my words. Hopefully, he gives us a chance to win every five days."

Duffy (3-4) allowed two runs in five innings, giving up eight hits and striking out six. He also picked two runners off first.

Davies was scratched about an hour before game time because of the sore right shoulder that's bothered him for most of the season.

Joakim Soria, who failed to hold a ninth-inning lead in Saturday's 5-2 loss, recorded his 20th save in 26 chances. Asdrubal Cabrera drew a one-out walk, but Carlos Santana hit into a game-ending double play.

Jimenez's physical took place Sunday at the team's spring training facility in Goodyear, Ariz. The Rockies will receive four minor leaguers -- pitchers Alex White and Joe Gardner, first baseman Matt McBride and a player to be named, who is expected to be pitcher Drew Pomeranz.

Acta said Jimenez will join the team in Boston. His first start will come against the Rangers.

Kipnis hit his first career home run for the Indians in the fifth. Cabrera doubled and scored on Santana's RBI triple.

Hafner had an RBI groundout in the eighth as a pinch-hitter.

Game notes
RHP Mitch Talbot was activated from the disabled list and designated for assignment to make room for Jimenez on the 40-man roster. Another move will be made when Jimenez joins the team to put him on the 25-man roster. ... OF Shin-Soo Choo (broken thumb) will accompany the Indians on their road trip that begins Monday in Boston. He will begin taking batting practice this week. Choo was hit by a pitch on June 24 ... The Indians called up INF Jason Donald to take the roster spot of INF Orlando Cabrera, who was traded to San Francisco on Saturday. Donald started at third base. ... Royals C Matt Treanor was placed on the seven-day concussion list after he was knocked unconscious in a collision at home plate with LaPorta on Saturday.