KANSAS CITY -- Since ending a five-game losing streak with a victory over the Indians on July 31 by Luke Hochevar, the Royals' pitching rotation has been on an upsurge.
Even though Hochevar lost to the A's, 3-0, on Thursday night, in the 16 games since July 31, Royals starters have an 8-6 record and a 3.95 ERA while holding opponents to a .245 average.
That's an encouraging sign after a tough month of July in which the starters were 4-15 in 25 games from July 1-29 with a 7.06 ERA and a .321 opponents average against.
Obviously, this month the starters have made a big difference.
"Absolutely," manager Ned Yost said. "Our starting pitching has been very good; it's given us a chance to win for the most part every day and you can compete when you do that."
Hochevar believes that good pitching can be contagious.
"Everybody's been throwing the ball well," Hochevar said. "[Jeremy] Guthrie's been throwing the ball great. [Luis] Mendoza has been throwing good for a long time. Will Smith, since he came back up, has been throwing the ball great. And Bruce [Chen] has been pitching well, too. It's just like hitting. A couple guys get a couple hits and the next thing you know, everybody's got three hits apiece in the game. So it's kind of similar."