Royals Recap: Power Is Absent; James Shields Is Terrific Again


It wasn’t easy or pretty but the Kansas City Royals (23-30) found a way to win against the Texas Rangers (34-21), the best team in the AL, by scoring 3 runs in the 10th in their 4-1 victory. As has been the case for much of the season, the pitching was terrific and the offense weak, but the end result this time was a victory.

Jun 1, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher James Shields (33) delivers to the Texas Rangers in the first inning during a baseball game at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

On the Mound

James Shields was hit hard on the forearm by an Elvis Andrus liner up the middle on his fifth pitch of the game. Shields, in obvious pain, brushed away the discomfort and stayed in the game. He ended up going 7 strong frames, allowing only 1 run on 5 hits. He struck out 5 and walked one. Tim Collins and Aaron Crow were able to hold the Rangers’ potent offense at bay until the Royals scraped together an attack in the 1oth. Greg Holland closed the game out.

At the Plate

As has been the case so often, the Royals could not muster much offense for Shields. They piled up 11 hits and 3 walks but didn’t get a key base hit or an extra base hit until their final one in the tenth, a double by George Kottaras that drove in 2 insurance runs. The Royals scored the tying run on a wild pitch, and the winning tally with a base loaded hit batsman. David Lough was involved in both. He scored on the wild pitch and he took a pitch off his hand with the bases loaded in the 10th.

Eric Hosmer had 3 hits, all singles. Mike Moustakas went 0-5 with 2 strikeouts, including one with the bases loaded and no outs in the 10th.

This and That

If anyone needs a reminder about just how little progress has been made in the Dayton Moore Era, chew on this. The Royals have started 23-30 in 4 of the last five years. In the other season, 2010, the Royals started a bit worse – 23-30.

55 individual hitters in the AL have more home runs than Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas combined. This list includes such scary batsmen such as Aaron Hicks (6), James Loney (7), Juan Castro (7), Lyle Overbay (8), Matt Dominguez (8), Jason Bay (8), and Kelly Johnson (10).

Not only did Kottaras get his late double off Ranger Robbie Ross, he also beat Ross in a head-to-head cow milking contest before Saturday’s game. No, really.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

There will be a co-POG for this game. James Shields‘ gutsy performance deserves a nod and so does David Lough and his contributions. Despite George Kottaras‘ late heroics, the game had been tied and won by Lough.

The Rangers

Lance Berkman was thrown out of the game int he first for arguing a called third strike. In reality, Berkman deserved the ejection. The pitch in question was close enough to swing at and Berkman turned and faced the umpire, Todd Tichenor, obviously confronting him in front of everyone, and made little effort to head back to the dugout as he complained. Umpires have been horrible and quick triggered this season, but not in this instance.

Up Next

Things don’t look good for the Royals today. They take on Yu Darvish (7-2, 3.03 ERA), whom many consider one of the top 2 or 3 starters in the AL. Ervin Santana (3-5, 3.33 ERA) will try to keep balls in the park against the Rangers, not something at which he has had much success.

AL Central Notes

Detroit Tigers (30-24): The Tigers blasted 5 home runs on the day – 5! One each by Prince Fielder, Victor Martinez, Jhonny Peralta, Alex Avila, and of course, Miguel Cabrera. Miggy’s was a grand slam. Justin Verlander was the recipient of the offense’s largesse.

Cleveland Indians (30-25): Ubaldo Jimenez looked like Ubaldo of old, going 8 shutout innings, allowing just 4 hits and a walk. He struck out 7. Asdrubal Cabrera and Jason Giambi homered for the Indians.

Chicago White Sox (24-29): The White Sox lost 4-3 to the Athletics when Hector Santiago walked in the winning run in the 9th.

Minnesota Twins (24-29): The Twins remain a game ahead of the Royals by scoring 3 runs off Mariner closer Tom Wilhelmsen in the 9th. Ryan Doumit was 3-5 with a run and 2 RBI.