Royals Recap: Luis Mendoza Implodes; Offense – 12 Hits, Only 3 Runs


The Kansas City Royals (34-36) have only themselves to blame for their 6-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians (36-35) Wednesday night. The Royals had 12 hits and 2 walks; they gave up only 7 hits but they walked 4. Kansas City left 9 on base, many of them early in the game, and just couldn’t put the Indians away despite numerous chances.

Jun 8, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals right fielder David Lough (7) at bat in the seventh inning of the game against the Houston Astros at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals won 7-2. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

On the Mound

Luis Mendoza was brilliant early, with a no-hitter intact after 4. Michael Brantley broke up the no-no, and the shutout, with a home run to lead off the 5th. Mendoza appeared unflustered as he sent the next 3 batters back to the dugout empty handed. Things unraveled very quickly in the 6th. Mendoza surrendered 3 singles and 2 walks without recording an out before Manager Ned Yost finally woke up, and realized what was happening, and mercifully pulled Mendoza. But it was already too late.

At the Plate

Alex Gordon‘s horrific month long slump continued with a 0-5, and he left 5 on base. Lorenzo Cain went 0-4 with 4 strikeouts, looked completely and utterly lost at the plate, and also left 5 on base..  Eric Hosmer and David Lough each contributed 3 hits, and Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar pitched in 2 hits each. Hosmer and Moustakas each doubled as well, which hopefully is a harbinger of things to come.

The big issue for the Royals is that they stranded 2 base runners in the first,  second,  fourth, and yet again in the 5th. Kansas City should have buried Cleveland long before the 6th even happened.

This and That

The Royals have 37 home runs, last in the AL, and tied for last in the majors with Miami. No team is even remotely close to them. Chris Davis and Miguel Cabrera have 45 combined.

Alex Gordon leads the Royals with 6 home runs. 58 AL hitters have more, and 45 NL batters have hit more. In case you are bad at math, 103 MLB hitters have more home runs than the Royals’ team leader.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Both Eric Hosmer and David Lough had 3 hits but Eric Hosmer made 2 incredibly boneheaded base running errors. In the 5th, with Hosmer on 2nd, Butler singled to left field but Hosmer never left second base. It wasn’t a line drive or anything, just a brain burp. It was even worse in the 9th when Hosmer was at second again. Salvador Perez grounded to the third and was thrown out at first. Hosmer took off for third and the game ended with him being thrown out by a country mile. David Lough is the POG.

The Indians

Mark Reynolds played an excellent first base Wednesday. He made a diving stop and throw to second in the 2nd, and snagged a hot line drive off the bat of Gordon to end the 4th, saving 2 runs. He also stayed on the bag on an errant throw by Mike Aviles later in the game, and made the throw that ended the game when Hosmer went to third on a ground out.

Michael Brantley went 2-3 with 2 homers, 2 runs scored, and 3 RBI. His first home run  broke up the no-hitter.

The Indians, not the Royals, were the team to take advantage of the fact Detroit lost two in a row in Baltimore. Cleveland is in second place in the AL Central, only 3 1/2 games back.

Up Next

The Royals are off on Thursday. On Friday, Jeremy Guthrie (7-4, 3.72 ERA) will face off against Hector Santiago (2-5, 3.30 ERA) and the Chicago White Sox at 7:10 at Kauffman Stadium.

AL Central Notes

Detroit Tigers (39-31): The Tigers were pummeled, 13-3, by the Orioles. Rick Porcello was beat around for 6 runs on 9 hits in 6 innings. Jose Valverde continues to struggle as he gave up 5 hits and 4 runs in an inning. His ERA sits at 5.59 now.

Minnesota Twins (32-36): Kevin Correia continues to be steady and dependable for the Twins. He won his 6th Wednesday against the White Sox, and has an ERA of 3.87. Justin Morneau hit his 3rd home run, and Josh Willingham drove in 2 in the 7-4 victory.

Chicago White Sox (29-40): It was a tough outing for ace Chris Sale against the Twins. He allowed 4 runs, 8 hits, and 2 walks in just 5 innings, while falling to 5-6 on the season. Alejandro De Aza hit his 9th home run of 2013.