Jun 22, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Zunino (3) hits a home run against the Kansas City Royals in the seventh inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Zunino ruins Ventura’s Day, Royals lose Four in a Row

The Royals lost their 4th straight game by losing yet again the by the score of 2-1 vs. the Mariners at Kauffman Stadium Sunday afternoon. This is their 3rd 2-1 loss in the last 4 games.

Mike Zunino broke up a 1-1 tie in the 7th with by blasting a 418-foot home run off over the left field fence off starter Yordano Ventura.

The season-long horrible offense seems to be back with a vengence  Kansas City’s ten-game deluge of scoring seems like a long-ago dream. Right now, I’m wondering if it ever, really, happened.

Sunday’s loss gave the Mariners a sweep. That’s not how the Royals wanted to open their homestand.

Kansas City now drops to 39-36 and 2.5 games behind Detroit the American League central.

 On the Mound

In what is becoming a tired refrain, Yordano Ventura didnt deserve to lose Sunday. He went 7.0 strong innings, allowing 6 hits, 2 walks, 2 earned runs with 6 strikeouts. The loss drops Ventura to 5-6 on the season.

Francisley Bueno pitched a clean 8th inning with 1 strikeout.

Aaron Crow finished off the 9th with a scoreless inning, giving up 1 hit and notching 1 strikeout.

At the Plate

The Royals followed up Saturday’s 3-hit performance with an equally awful 7-hit, 2 walk day on Sunday. All of their hits were singles. Maybe the team might start hitting again if they demote Dale Sveum to resident bib-cleaner and name Mike Jirshele hitting coach. Of course, any benefit would probably last no more than a week.

The Royals scored their only run in the 2nd inning when Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez opened the frame with singles. Danny Valencia and Justin Maxwell followed with consecutive fly balls, that advanced Gordon to 3rd and then brought him home with a sacrifice fly.

The Royals failed to score the rest of the day.

Sal Perez was the only hitter with more than 1 hit, going 2-4, with 2 singles. 0 runs scored, and 0 RBi’s.

The only other Royal that got on base safely more than once was Omar Infante, who went 1-3, with a single and 1 walk.

This and That

Sunday’s loss dropped the Royals to 18-19 at home for the year.

Kansas City is now a terrible 8-15 in 1-run games. Sabermetrics suggests that luck plays a larger role in 1-run games than any other contest. Conversely, conventional wisdom holds that teams with a good bullpens and “clutch” hitting wins the tight games. Whatever the reason, the Royals are failing to win close games this season.

Even in defeat, the Royals continue to play good defense. Sunday, Omar Infante made a nice leaping grab on Dustin Ackley‘s liner in the 2nd to save a run. While Salvador Perez picked Brad Miller off first after in hit a two-out single against Crow.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Our nod goes to Yordano Ventura for yet another strong start. He’s given the Royals four consecutive strong outings after leaving a game against the Astros with a sore elbow.

The Mariners

Mariners catcher Mike Zunino went 2-4 with a double, home run, 2 runs scored and 2 RBI’s. Zunino played 2 games in the 3 game series vs. the Royals, going 3-8 with 2 home runs and a double. Ouch.

Up Next

The Royals continue their home stand when the Los Angeles Dodgers come to Kansas City on Monday. Zack Greinke (9-3, 2.57 ERA) returns to his old stomping grounds to start for Los Angeles against Jeremy Guthrie (4-6, 3.86) for the Royals.  Game time is 7:10 CST at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

Box

Mariners Batting AB R H RBI BB SO PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Endy Chavez RF 4 0 0 0 0 1 4 .224 .243 .299 .541
James Jones CF 4 0 0 0 0 2 4 .287 .318 .351 .669
Robinson Cano DH 3 0 0 0 1 2 4 .329 .390 .437 .827
Logan Morrison 1B 3 0 0 0 1 0 4 .164 .227 .295 .522
Kyle Seager 3B 3 0 0 0 0 1 4 .250 .328 .448 .776
Mike Zunino C 4 2 2 1 0 1 4 .225 .283 .421 .704
Dustin Ackley LF 4 0 1 0 0 0 4 .233 .286 .359 .645
Brad Miller SS 4 0 2 0 0 1 4 .207 .276 .327 .603
Willie Bloomquist 2B 3 0 2 1 0 0 3 .280 .299 .366 .665
Team Totals 32 2 7 2 2 8 35 .219 .265 .406 .671

2B: W Bloomquist 2 (5, 2 off Y Ventura); M Zunino (12, off Y Ventura).
HR: M Zunino (9, off Y Ventura, 7th inn, 0 on, 0 outs to Deep LF).
SH: K Seager (1, off Y Ventura).
TB: M Zunino 6; W Bloomquist 4; B Miller 2; D Ackley.
RBI: M Zunino (24); W Bloomquist (11).
2-out RBI: W Bloomquist.
Team LOB: 6.
With RISP: 1 for 11.
Fielding
Outfield Assists: E Chavez (B Butler at 2nd base).
Baserunning
Pickoffs: B Miller (1st base by S Perez).

Royals Batting AB R H RBI BB SO PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Lorenzo Cain CF 3 0 0 0 1 1 4 .310 .352 .413 .765
Omar Infante 2B 3 0 1 0 1 0 4 .245 .296 .355 .650
Eric Hosmer 1B 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 .252 .290 .358 .648
Billy Butler DH 4 0 1 0 0 1 4 .278 .329 .359 .688
Alex Gordon LF 4 1 1 0 0 1 4 .291 .370 .465 .835
Salvador Perez C 4 0 2 0 0 0 4 .283 .333 .441 .774
Danny Valencia 3B 3 0 0 0 0 1 3 .236 .291 .333 .624
   Jarrod Dyson PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .284 .339 .304 .643
Justin Maxwell RF 2 0 1 1 0 1 3 .176 .237 .206 .443
   Mike Moustakas PH 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 .178 .246 .366 .613
Alcides Escobar SS 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 .287 .327 .392 .720
   Pedro Ciriaco SS 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 .213 .229 .255 .484
Team Totals 32 1 7 1 2 7 36 .219 .278 .219 .497

SF: J Maxwell (1, off R Elias).
HBP: A Escobar (3, by R Elias).
TB: S Perez 2; A Gordon; B Butler; J Maxwell; O Infante; M Moustakas.
RBI: J Maxwell (3).
Team LOB: 8.
With RISP: 0 for 5.

Mariners Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Pit Str
Roenis Elias, W (7-5) 6.2 5 1 1 2 5 0 3.74 92 59
Yoervis Medina, H (11) 0.1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2.60 10 7
Charlie Furbush, H (10) 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.97 1 1
Danny Farquhar, H (6) 0.2 0 0 0 0 1 0 3.00 6 4
Fernando Rodney, S (21) 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 2.08 12 9
Team Totals 9 7 1 1 2 7 0 1.00 121 80
Royals Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Pit Str
Yordano Ventura, L (5-6) 7 6 2 2 2 6 1 3.20 101 69
Francisley Bueno 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1.59 10 8
Aaron Crow 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 2.70 11 7
Team Totals 9 7 2 2 2 8 1 2.00 122 84

Balks: D Farquhar (1).
WP: None.
HBP: R Elias (6; A Escobar).
IBB: None.
Pickoffs: None.

Tags: Featured Kansas City Royals Mike Zunino Popular Salvador Perez Yordano Ventura