CLEVELAND (AP) — Mike Moustakas had a career-best four RBIs to help rookie Will Smith get his first major league win, leading the Kansas City Royals to an 8-2 win over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night.
Moustakas hit a two-run homer off Justin Masterson (2-4) in the first and singled in two runs in the second.
That was more than enough support for Smith (1-1), who allowed two runs and four hits in six innings. The left-hander rebounded nicely after being thumped by the New York Yankees in his major league debut last week.
Humberto Quintero added two RBIs as the Royals, despite three errors and 12 strikeouts, improved to 15-11 on the road.
Masterson, who beat Detroit ace Justin Verlander in his previous start, allowed seven earned runs in six innings.
The Indians have dropped four of five since sweeping the Tigers last week.
The 22-year-old Smith took the mound with a 2-0 lead but quickly found trouble, walking the first two hitters he faced before giving up a single to load the bases. Smith limited the damage to two runs and gained strength as he went along. After he allowed two singles in the third, the only Cleveland player to reach base — on a throwing error by third baseman Moustakas — was erased on a double play.
Smith walked two and struck out five.
Masterson trailed 7-2 after two innings but, like Smith, the right-hander found his groove and finished with no walks and eight strikeouts, his most since fanning 10 on Opening Day.
Most of the pregame discussion centered around Cleveland closer Chris Perez's gesture toward Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson in the ninth inning of Monday's series opener.
Perez, who irked the Royals with comments earlier this season, celebrated a strikeout of Dyson by waving his hand — "You can't see me" — in front of his face. Dyson was annoyed by Perez's antics and was looking forward to getting even with the right-hander. That matchup never materialized as the Royals built a large lead and rolled.
Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera went 1 for 4 as the designated hitter after missing three consecutive games with a tight hamstring.
By the end of the second inning, Moustakas already had his four RBIs and was looking for more. After connecting for his eighth homer in the first, his two-run single capped a five-run outburst in the second off Masterson as the Royals opened a five-run lead.
Kansas City used small-ball tactics — a single, hit batter and sacrifice — to set things up before Quintero, Alex Gordon and Johnny Giavotella delivered RBI singles. Moustakas just missed hitting a three-run homer — the umpires left the field to review his shot to right — before his base hit made it 7-2.
Moustakas was batting just .115 (3 of 26) on the road trip before his homer in the first. With Giavotella on with a fielder's choice, Moustakas drove Masterson's 3-1 pitch over the wall in right-center to make it 2-0.
The Indians tied it in their half-inning on RBIs by Jose Lopez and Michael Brantley, and Cleveland seemed to have Smith reeling. But the smooth lefty, who lasted just 3 1-3 innings in his debut at Yankee Stadium, retired Aaron Cunningham on a popout before striking out Lonnie Chisenhall.