This was the series in which the Kansas City Royals (21-22) were supposed to get healthy. Instead, they had one 3-inning stretch in game two in which the offense clicked for 7 runs, but otherwise the series was an offensive disaster. On Wednesday, the Houston Astros (14-33) won 3-1 as Kansas City failed to provide James Shields any support.
On the Mound
Don’t blame James Shields. Yes, he made one mistake with a ball up in the zone to J.D. Martinez, who promptly planted it over the fence for a 2-run homer. Shields, and all the pitchers for that matter, should not be expected to pitch perfect games every night out. Those were the only 2 runs Shields allowed on the night through 7 innings. He gave up 7 hits and didn’t walk a batter while striking out 7.
At the Plate
The Royals scattered 6 hits. It was as unexciting as it sounds. The lone rune came on a triple by Jeff Francoeur, of all people, and it was followed up by a George Kottaras double for the sole run on the night.
This and That
Right before hitting his triple, Jeff Francoeur air balled a line drive hit by Carlos Pena. Evidently, he lost it in the lights. Luckily, Pena did not score on the gaff.
Kansas City has now dropped 12 of their last 16 contests.
The Royals have only scored 5 runs in Shields’ last 4 starts, all losses. Opponents have only tallied 10 runs in those same 4 defeats. James Shields is doing his job.
KC Kingdom Player of the Game
James Shields has won 3 more POG awards than he has victories. That should tell you all you need to know.
- James Shields – 5
- Alex Gordon – 9
- Wade Davis – 2
- Lorenzo Cain – 3
- Luis Mendoza
- Billy Butler – 4
- Ervin Santana – 3
- Miguel Tejada - 2
- Jeremy Guthrie -3
- Eric Hosmer
- Chris Getz
- Mike Moustakas - 3
- Aaron Crow
- Jarrod Dyson
- David Lough
- Alcides Escobar
Jason Castro (3), and J.D. Martinez (2) combined for 5 of the Astros’ 8 total hits. Three relievers combined for three hitless frames to close out the game.
The Los Angeles Angels (19-27) come to Kauffman for a 4-game series this weekend. Things are a little bit different that when the Royals faced them last week. Then, they were scuffling a bit; now, they are on a 4-game winning streak, scoring 37 runs in those 4 games. The Royals have only scored 30 runs in their last 8 outings since tallying 11 against the Angels on May 13. Ervin Santana (3-3, 2.77 ERA) will try to cool them off. He will face Joe Blanton (0-7, 6.62 EA), who was on the mound that night when KC scored those 11 runs.
AL Central Notes
Detroit Tigers (25-19): Detroit won their 2nd in a row against the division leading Indians and now trail by only a half a game. Miguel Cabrera homered again and drove in three in the 11-7 victory. Former Royal Brayan Pena went 3-5 and is not batting .304 for the Tigers with 9 RBI in just 56 at bats. Did the Royals ever try him in right?
Minnesota Twins (18-25): Aaron Hicks hit his 4th homer but it didn’t help much as the Twins fell 8-3 in Atlanta. Vance Worley gave up 8 runs, 10 hits, and 2 walks in just 3.2 innings. He was optioned to AAA after the performance.
Chicago White Sox (21-24): Paul Konerko, who has been showing his age in 2013, hit his 5th home run of the season in 6-2 loss to Boston. Starter Hector Santiago pitched well but the bullpen let him down.