Derek Lowe was one of the best starting pitchers in the American League for the first six weeks.
Now he's one of the worse.
Lowe retired only five of the 17 batters he faced in the Cleveland Indians' 8-3 loss Tuesday night to the Kansas City Royals.
Since starting the season 6-1 with a 2.05 ERA on May 15, Lowe is 2-9 and his ERA has climbed to 5.52.
''It's been a tale of two months,'' Lowe said. ''They couldn't be any further (apart). It's frustrating from a standpoint of what I've pitched like. It's not what you need to be doing but it's reality.
''It's been live batting practice for two months. I have no excuses,'' he said. ''I can't say it's bad breaks. That'd be a lie.''
Lowe (8-10) failed to finish the third and balked in a run. He was pulled after allowing seven runs on eight hits, two walks and a balk in 2 1-3 innings.
''There wasn't much life to his pitches,'' Indians manager Manny Acta said. ''His sinker only got two groundballs. Even the ones they didn't hit hard go...