CLEVELAND – Rookie Konnor Pilkington struck out eight in five innings for his first major league win and the Cleveland Guardians beat the Kansas City Royals 4-0 Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep.
Pilkington, making his third career start and sixth appearance, worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fourth. The left-hander is taking the rotation spot of injured Aaron Civale.
Kansas City has dropped 11 of 13 and has the worst record in the majors at 16-33.
Brad Keller (1-6) allowed four runs and six hits in six innings.
Pilkington (1-0) struck out his first four hitters. He stranded two in the second and one in the third before dodging major trouble in the fourth.
Pilkington began the season in Cleveland’s bullpen amid expanded rosters. He started in a doubleheader and was sent to Triple-A Columbus and was recalled when Civale was injured on May 20.
The Royals, who have a day off Thursday, completed a stretch of 26 games in 25 days.
Andrew Benintendi had three hits and has reached base in 23 straight games. … Cleveland rookie Oscar Gonzalez was 0 for 4 after hitting safely in his first five major league games. His streak ended with a deep fly out to right with the bases loaded in the seventh.
SEE YOU LATER
The Royals don’t return to Cleveland until late September for a stretch of six days. The teams complete the regular season with six games from Sept. 30-Oct. 5. Kansas City was scheduled to play three games in Cleveland to begin the season but those had to be rescheduled because of the lockout.
Royals: C Cam Gallagher (left hamstring strain) caught five innings in his first game on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday and was hitless in two at-bats. He has missed 28 games.
Guardians: RHP James Karinchak (strained shoulder) was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday night. He was injured during spring training.
Royals: RHP Brady Singer (2-0, 2.49 ERA), coming off a win over Minnesota in his last start, will open a three-game home series against Houston on Friday night.
Guardians: RHP Shane Bieber (12-3, 3.19 ERA) will pitch the opener of a three-game series in Baltimore on Friday night. The 2020 AL Cy Young winner allowed one run in eight innings Detroit in his last start.