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KC@LAA: Hochevar keeps the Angels' bats in check

After breaking even on a season-opening six-game road trip, the Royals play their home opener Friday against an Indians team hoping for a change in fortune as it hits the road.

The Royals come home off a disappointing end to their road trip, losing 5-4 in 12 innings at Oakland on Wednesday.

"Seven weeks at Spring Training and a road trip that feels like a month. I think we're all excited about getting back to Kansas City, our stadium and our fans," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Luke Hochevar is scheduled to take the ball for the Royals in their home opener, and he's been on a roll dating back to last season.

The right-hander allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings in his season debut against the Angels on Saturday, and in the second half of 2011, he posted a 3.52 ERA in 12 starts and 79 1/3 innings.

Home didn't treat the Indians well.

After a 1-4 homestand was capped by a 10-6 loss to the White Sox on Wednesday, the Indians, like the Royals, have an off-day on Thursday before opening the three-game series with the Royals at Kauffman Stadium on Friday at 3:10 p.m. CT.

The Indians will look to get going on offense, as they hit just .176 in their first five games.

"It's never a good time to hit the road," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "We love to be here, playing in Progressive Field in front of our crowd, sleeping in our own bed. I wish we could stay here for another week. Ballparks, they're different, but they're all the same. You still need to get out there and play baseball, and we'd rather be at home."

"You've got to put it behind you," Casey Kotchman said about the series with the White Sox. "It's over with. There's nothing we can do about it. We've got to move forward and keep pressing forward toward the goal that we all have."

Acta was careful, though, not to read too much into a handful of contests.

"It's five games into it," he said. "In five games, things can change again. Everybody goes through those periods -- those ups and downs -- and we're in it right now."

Veteran right-hander Derek Lowe is scheduled to make his second start after a sharp outing against the Blue Jays on Sunday. Lowe allowed two runs, none earned, in seven innings to earn the win.

"We believed in our starting rotation all of Spring Training," Lowe said.

Indians: Tomlin heads to the bullpen
Right-hander Josh Tomlin will be in the bullpen for the next few games following a rainout on Tuesday that caused the Indians to move around their rotation.

"I've done it before," Tomlin said Wednesday morning. "I've come out of the 'pen before in the Minor Leagues. I enjoy it."

• The Indians won 12 times in 18 games against the Royals in 2011.

Royals: Cain goes on DL
• Kansas City center fielder Lorenzo Cain went on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday with a left groin strain. Outfielder Jarrod Dyson was called up from Triple-A Omaha to take Cain's place.

The move was made because speed is a big part of Cain's game and the Royals want him 100 percent before he plays again. Manager Ned Yost wasn't sure if Dyson, Mitch Maier or Jason Bourgeois would start in center against the Indians on Friday.

• Friday marks the first of three 10-game homestands the Royals have this season.

Worth noting
• Since the start of 2010, Hochevar is 12-3 in 18 day starts, with a 4.29 ERA. He is 6-14 in 32 games, 31 starts, at night during that time, with a 4.90 ERA. Comments