For the Kansas City Royals (4-7), the final game of this weekend series against the Minnesota Twins (6-6) could not have gotten any worse than the first 2 games. Or so the Royals hoped. An 8th inning bullpen collapse by the Royals lifted the Twins to a 4-3 victory, and a series sweep.
On the Mound
Again, Jason Vargas did his job. He shutout the Twins over his first 6 innings, allowing just 4 hits, but in the 7th, he walked his third batter of the game, then surrendered a home run to Josmil Pinto. He finished out the 7th, watched his team grab the lead in the bottom of the inning, then observed as his bullpen melted down behind him.
Ned Yost, obviously grasping at straws, went with Aaron Crow as the set up man for the day. With the Royals leading by one run, Crow rewarded his manager’s misplaced confidence by walking both batters he faced.
Wade Davis replaced Crow and struck out Joe Mauer, but walked the next batter to load the bases. The next batter, Chris Herrmann, hit a little soft chopper toward third. Davis pounced on the ball easily, then threw wildly home, sending the ball past Salvador Perez. Davis then hung his head instead of covering home. Brian Dozier charged home from third base, and Davis was late covering the plate. Davis received Perez’s throw but Dozier slid in safely underneath the tag.
At the Plate
In the first 7 innings of the game, the Royals didn’t score a run and managed just 4 hits. Despite this general awfulness, they rallied to score 3 runs on three hits, a walk, and an error in the 8th to grab the lead. Unfortunately, the Royals found another way to lose.
During the broadcast of Fox Sports – Kansas City, Rex Hudler pointed out that Billy Butler had hit the ball fairly 27 times this season. Only 3 times has Butler elevated the ball. He has 24 ground balls out of 27 batted balls – a ground ball rate of 88.9%. He struck out his last two at bats, insuring this stat didn’t change. There is no doubt why he is hitting .154. Hey Billy! How about trying something different.
The first six batters were 2-23 on the day.
This and That
The Royals have scored just 32 runs in 11 games. They scored 7 twice, and just 18 total in the other 9 games.
As much as this pains me to say, the Royals may need Danny Duffy to stay with the ball club, and prop up the bullpen.
The Royals allowed 8 unearned runs on the past two days. Two of the key errors were committed by pitchers.
KC Kingdom Player of the Game
Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar each had 2 hits but once again, it was Jason Vargas who had the best day of any Royal. He has won the KC Kingdom Player of the Game in all three of his starts but he only has one win.
- Salvador Perez
- Jason Vargas – 3
- Alex Gordon – 2
- Bruce Chen
- James Shields
- Yordano Ventura
- Mike Moustakas
- Danny Duffy
Kevin Correia baffled the Royals through 7, holding them scoreless before crumbling in the 8th. He still did not get the loss. Kansas City only scraped out 4 hits in those first 7 frames.
Josmil Pinto hit his second home run of the series, and now has three times more round trippers than the Royals have through 11 games.
The Royals are off on Monday, then open a 3-game set against the Houston Astros. Yordano Ventura (1-0, 0.00) goes for the Royals against Lucas Harrell (0-2, 11.05 ERA). First pitch is at 7:10 on Tuesday.
|Nori Aoki RF||3||0||0||1||0||0||.250||.702|
|Omar Infante 2B||4||0||1||0||0||0||.294||.663|
|Eric Hosmer 1B||4||0||1||1||0||0||.244||.628|
|Billy Butler DH||4||0||0||0||0||2||.154||.398|
|Alex Gordon LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||.275||.768|
|Salvador Perez C||4||0||0||0||0||1||.333||.927|
|Mike Moustakas 3B||3||1||1||0||1||0||.111||.386|
|Lorenzo Cain CF||3||1||2||0||0||0||.324||.714|
|Alcides Escobar SS||3||1||2||0||0||1||.250||.576|
|Jason Vargas P|
|Aaron Crow P|
|Wade Davis P|
|Brian Dozier 2B||3||1||1||0||1||0||.191||.796|
|Joe Mauer 1B||4||0||2||0||0||2||.286||.774|
|Trevor Plouffe 3B||3||0||0||0||1||0||.326||.859|
|Chris Colabello RF||2||0||0||0||1||0||.273||.774|
|Chris Herrmann LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||.167||.333|
|Jason Kubel LF||2||0||0||0||1||1||.385||1.057|
|Darin Mastroianni PR-RF||1||1||0||0||0||1||.000||.125|
|Josmil Pinto DH||3||1||1||2||1||1||.231||.910|
|Kurt Suzuki C||3||0||0||0||0||0||.265||.683|
|Aaron Hicks CF||3||0||1||0||0||1||.200||.577|
|Pedro Florimon SS||2||1||0||0||1||1||.067||.243|
|Aaron Crow, L (0-1)||0||0||2||0||2||0||0||0.00||14||6|
|Wade Davis, BS (2)||1||0||0||0||1||3||0||4.26||27||13|
|Brian Duensing, BS (1)||0.2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0.00||4||4|
|Casey Fien, W (1-0)||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||5.40||4||3|
|Glen Perkins, S (3)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||6.00||11||7|