Royals Recap: Offense Fails James Shields Yet Again; Astros Win Series


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.

May 17, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher James Shields (33) pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning at O.Co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

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.

The Astros

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.

Up Next

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?

Cleveland Indians (26-19): Carlos Santana had 2 hits, including his 8th home run of the season,  in the loss. Ubaldo Jimenez got bombed for 6 runs in 4 innings.

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.