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Royals' road magic runs out in 4-1 loss to Indians

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CLEVELAND - The Kansas City Royals' recent road dominance has grounded to a halt.

Danny Duffy allowed four runs and 10 hits in six innings, and the Royals were shut down by Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber in a 4-1 loss Sunday.

Kansas City dropped the last two games of the series after winning Friday night. It was the first time the Royals lost a road series since dropping two of three games to the Los Angeles Angels from May 23-25. Kansas City is 11-4 on the road since June 2.

Mike Moustakas' fifth-inning homer accounted for Kansas City's only run.

Royals manager Ned Yost thought Duffy gave his team a chance to win.

"This was a good outing for Danny," Yost said. "He kept us in the game. He gave us an opportunity. We were within striking distance. A four-run outing by your starter is not insurmountable."

Duffy (5-8) had been on a hot stretch entering the game, ranking third among AL starters with a 1.69 ERA over six June outings. The left-hander pitched particularly well on the road, going 3-1 with a 1.05 ERA in four games.

Duffy allowed one home run in June, but gave up two on Sunday, both in the second inning. Carlos Santana, batting right-handed, hit a solo shot into the right-field bullpen to put the Indians up 1-0. Ryan Raburn singled, and Yan Gomes hit his 10th home run on a 1-0 pitch to dead centre.

"I can deal with a couple flares and a couple ground balls going for hits," Duffy said. "I'm not happy with myself about the second inning. I left a lot of pitches up, and that was my Achilles' heel."

Duffy struck out six and didn't walk a batter.

Michael Brantley added an RBI single in the fifth.

The Royals managed only four hits against Kluber (8-6), who struck out 10 in 8 1-3 innings. Jarrod Dyson had an infield single in the third, and Lorenzo Cain had an infield hit in the sixth.

"Everything he was throwing was nasty," Moustakas said.

"He's got a really, really good curveball," Yost said. "He's got a tremendous fastball that he can get up to 96 (mph) that he can locate very, very well and very consistently. He throws his curveball front door, back door, and has a nice slider that he keeps down in the zone."

Moustakas also made a couple of impressive plays at third, including a diving stop on a hard-hit ball by Santana in the third to start a double play.

"He was flashing the leather," Duffy said. "He always does. Moose is a savage at third base."

In eight games this season against the Indians, Moustakas is batting .345 (10 for 29) with five homers and 11 RBIs. He is a career .308 hitter at Progressive Field.

"There's no answer for that," Moustakas said. "Just one of those weird things in baseball that just seem to kind of happen."

Cody Allen recorded the final two outs for his ninth save.

Indians manager Terry Francona was booed by the home fans when he pulled Kluber two outs short of a complete game. Eric Hosmer started the inning with a double before Salvador Perez struck out.

"I don't blame them," Francona said. "If I was managing with my heart, I'd have left him in there, too."

Left-hander Scott Downs, signed by the Royals before Sunday's game, pitched a 1-2-3 seventh. Right-hander Casey Coleman was optioned to Triple-A Omaha to make room for the 38-year-old left-hander.

Bruce Chen walked one in a scoreless eighth.

Cleveland has won four of five to move within two games of second-place Kansas City in the AL Central. The Royals trail first-place Detroit by 4 1-2 games.

NOTES: OF Alex Gordon and DH Billy Butler were both out of the lineup Sunday. Gordon is mired in a 3 for 40 slump, and Butler has just three hits in his last 26 at-bats. ... OF Nori Aoki (strained left groin) will begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Northwest Arkansas this week. ... The Royals continue their nine-game road trip Monday at Tampa Bay with RHP James Shields (8-4) facing his former team. ... Kansas City took two of three in Minnesota to begin the trip.

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