CLEVELAND -- After a rocky start to the 2014 regular season, when he allowed three earned runs and four walks in four innings in a loss to the Oakland Athletics, Cleveland Indians starter Zach McAllister posted his third straight start of at least six innings Monday night.
McAllister earned his third straight win as he tossed six innings of two-run, six-hit baseball in a 4-3 Indians win over the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field.
"I'm just trying to execute pitches," McAllister said. "Obviously, you want to go deep in games as starters, but I'm not trying to think about that. I'm just trying to get three outs, execute pitches and let my defense work. If I get strikeouts, that's great, but I just want to be able to get quick outs.
"I think I'm able to get the ball down pretty well. They were an aggressive team today, and anytime you threw a strike, they were trying to put the ball in play. For me, I just try to execute good pitches and be able to mix a little bit."
McAllister allowed just three hits in the first four innings, but struggled in the fifth after the Indians' bats gave him a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth.
McAllister gave up back-to-back doubles to Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar to start the inning. Then, on a sacrifice bunt attempt from Jarrod Dyson, McAllister committed a throwing error that allowed Escobar to score.
The Royals added a third run on Omar Infante's RBI single to left field later in the inning.
"He didn't let anything rattle him," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He continued to execute pitches. He was strong."
McAllister tossed 98 pitches, 70 of which were in the strike zone, and allowed only one walk in the victory.
"I thought he was good," Francona said. "For the most part, his fastball was 92, 93, at the knees. That's a good pitch, and then, off of that, he threw some off-speed pitches. The one inning that he gave up some contact and we had a couple missteps, he kept making pitches. He didn't come unglued, and then, he went back out and pitched (well) again.
"That's a nice feeling. This is a young kid, still, that's enjoying the responsibility and the challenges of getting better. He came into camp and he was throwing the ball so well. He had that downward plane on his fastball. Then, he kind of lost it a little bit toward the end of spring. He's kind of recovered through hard work and with (pitching coach) Mickey (Callaway). He feels good about himself, and he should.
"If you're around Zach for five minutes, you'll know he desperately wants to be so good."