< html > The Associated Press
Bolivar Commercial
 LATEST NEWS
 Top Stories
 U.S.
  Severe Weather
  Bird Flu
 World
  Castro
  Mideast Crisis
  Iraq
 Business
 Personal Finance
 Technology
 Sports
  Sports Columns
  NASCAR
  Baseball
  College Hoops
  NBA
  NHL
  Tennis
  Golf
 Entertainment
 Health
 Science
 Politics
 Washington
 Offbeat
 Podcasts
 Blogs
 Weather
 Raw News
 NEWS SEARCH
 
 Archive Search
 SPECIAL SECTIONS
 Multimedia Gallery
 AP Video Network
 Today
 in History
 Corrections
Apr 23, 12:22 AM EDT

Salazar comes up short in 8-2 loss

AP Photo
AP Photo/Mark Duncan
Sports Video

Interactive
Complete Baseball Coverage
Interactives
Mark McGwire timeline
Steroids in Baseball
How to throw a knuckleball
An interactive looking at Derek Jeter's career
Bonds Multimedia
Bonds & BALCO Timeline
Bonds Breaks Home Run Record
Bonds: Chasing the HR Record
Latest News
Marlins' bats come up short again against Braves

Gattis' double helps Braves top Marlins 3-1

Baseball Calendar

Crawford's error helps Phils beat LA 3-2 in 10

Ramirez gives up 2 HRs, Mariners lost 8th straight

Buy AP Photo Reprints

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Indians manager Terry Francona's 55th birthday ended on a down note.

The reason was another poor outing by 24-year-old pitcher Danny Salazar.

Salazar - a highly touted right-hander - remained winless on the season after allowing five runs, four of them earned, and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings Tuesday as the Kansas City Royals beat Cleveland 8-2 in front of a sparse crowd.

"I don't want to put it all on youth, but with experience, Danny is going to learn to do this better," Francona said. "Regardless of how much time you spent in the minor leagues, when you come up to the big leagues, there's a learning curve. He has the stuff to go through the lineup multiple times. It's just a matter of executing pitches."

Salazar (0-3), who started and lost the 2013 AL wild-card game, struck out six and walked two before being chased in the fifth on Billy Butler's RBI double. He also allowed a three-run homer to Mike Moustakas an inning earlier.

Salazar has pitched into the sixth only once in four starts. He expressed concern that he is tipping his pitches, saying he feels "totally focused and aggressive" and can't explain why his ERA has ballooned to 7.85.

Salazar, who didn't allow a hit until the fourth, is searching for answers.

"Maybe I'm doing something obvious, so they know what's coming," said Salazar, who is 1-7 in 14 starts since winning his big league debut on July 11, 2013. "Today, I felt like I was totally focused and aggressive on every pitch. I don't know what it is. Baseball is tough. You just have to keep your head up, I guess."

When the subject of his birthday was raised before the game, Francona joked, "I don't think I feel a day over 75." He may have actually felt that age when the Indians couldn't record their first three-game winning streak of the season.

Cleveland took a 1-0 lead in the second when Michael Bourn singled home Asdrubal Cabrera, then scored its other run in the sixth on a Yan Gomes' RBI double. Kansas City went ahead for good in the fourth when Salazar allowed four runs, including Moustakas' three-run blast into the Royals bullpen.

"The first three innings, Salazar was tough," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. "He was nails. His split was tough."

Royals right-hander James Shields (2-2) was even better in winning his third straight start against Cleveland. He gave up two runs, one of them earned, in six innings while striking out nine.

Bourn, Gomes and Nick Swisher had two hits apiece for the Indians.

"Unfortunately, Shields is pretty much the same every time we see him," Francona said. "He's one of the best."

Cleveland collected nine total hits off Shields and relievers Danny Duffy and Aaron Crow, but Carlos Santana went 0 for 4 and is in a 2 for 43 slump.

Eric Hosmer had four hits for Kansas City, which tacked on a run in the seventh off C.C. Lee and added two more in the ninth off Scott Atchison.

The attendance of 8,848 was just 122 more than the Progressive Field record low set on April 3, 2011 against the White Sox. The game-time temperature was 50 degrees, but a strong wind made it feel much colder.

NOTES: Francona said the squirrel that ran on the field Monday during Cleveland's 4-3 victory brought back memories of managing winter ball in the Dominican Republic. "It was about 15 minutes before the game and there was a goat, a dog, and a chicken in center field," he said. Francona said the intruders were removed before the first pitch. ... Royals first base coach Rusty Kuntz, who suffered a broken left wrist during batting practice Monday, will undergo surgery Wednesday at Cleveland Clinic. Major league coach Mike Jirschele will fill in for Kuntz. ... Royals left-hander Jason Vargas (2-0) faces Indians right-hander Justin Masterson (0-0) in the third game of the four-game set Wednesday at 7:05 p.m.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.