KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Luis Mendoza felt terrible for much of the week, then quickly got into trouble when he returned to the mound Friday night.
Once he wiggled out of that first-inning jam, it was mostly smooth sailing from there.
Mendoza pitched into the seventh in his first start since a bout with strep throat, leading the Kansas City Royals to a 6-3 victory over the struggling Cleveland Indians.
Mike Moustakas and Brayan Pena each drove in two runs for the Royals, who have won three straight and four of six. Mendoza (8-9) allowed two runs and eight hits in six-plus innings.
The Indians have lost 40 of 52 games since July 26 when they were 50-49 and trailed AL Central-leading White Sox by 3 games. They have lost six straight against Kansas City and eight of nine overall in the season series.