Royals Recap: Pitching Tanks; Offense Strands 10 In Loss


A lack of pitching and timely hitting cost the Kansas City Royals (41-44) on Sunday in a big 10-4 loss to the Oakland Athletics (52-37). The loss prevented Kansas City from having a winning home stand, and kept them from gaining ground on the front running Tigers.

June 23, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals catcher George Kottaras (26) gets a hand shake from third base coach Eddie Rodriguez (14) after hitting a solo home run against the Chicago White Sox during the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

On the Mound

It was obvious from the very start that Luis Mendoza was going to struggle. He walked former Royal Coco Crisp on 5 pitches to lead off the game but lucked out when Crisp was doubled off first when Jed Lowrie smoked a line drive that first baseman Eric Hosmer snagged. He got out of the inning one pitch later. The walk and  Lowrie’s rope were harbingers of things to come. The next inning, the A’s were bashing balls all over the park off Mendoza. He recorded just 2 more out before being  lifted after the A’s scored 5 runs on 5 hits in the second.

Bruce Chen and Will Smith hardly stemmed the flow of hits from the A’s bats. Over the next 6.1 innings Chen and Smith gave up 5 runs on 10, including 3 home runs. J.C. Gutierrez was perfect in mop up duty in the 9th.

At the Plate

Usually, when the Royals knock out 13 hits, it is a good thing. It didn’t work out that way in the game. As a team, they stranded 10 base runners, but individually, things were worse than that. Eric Hosmer stranded 5, Billy Butler 4, Elliot Johnson and Alex Gordon 3. Six other hitters combined to leave 8. That is a whole lot of individuals not getting base hits with runners on base.

This and That

Luis Mendoza and Wade Davis have to be pitching for the rotation spots this week – or at least they should be. Davis has two starts before the All-Star break and Mendoza, 1. If neither starts throwing better, and getting guys out more consistently, Danny Duffy or Will Smith could take their spot after the break. Smith didn’t pitch well on Sunday, but has in AAA and his opportunities thus far in Kansas City, before yesterday.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

George Kottaras, I guess? He did go 1-2 with a homer and 2 walks. probably the best on a poor day. He only stranded one runner, so there is that.

The Athletics

The Royals made the Athletics’ starting pitcher, A.J. Griffin work really hard on Sunday. Griffin threw 105 pitches in 5 innings but it didn’t really cost him. Kansas City was more patient but were unable to capitalize.

Josh Reddick got healthy at the plate this weekend, feasting on Royals’ pitching. Sunday, he went 2-5 with a home run, 2 runs scored, and 4 RBI. Jed Lowrie also homered in the win.

Up Next

The Royals travel to New York for 4 games against the Yankees. In game one on Monday night at 6:10, Jeremy Guthrie (7-6, ERA 4.29) will match-up against Phil Hughes (4-7, 4.55 ERA).

AL Central Notes

Detroit Tigers (48-39): The Tigers came charging back Sunday from a 6-1 deficit, with 2 runs in the 7th and 3 more in the 8th to tie the game, only to see the Indians score 3 of their own in the bottom of the 8th, securing the 9-6 victory for Cleveland. Miguel Cabrera went 4-4 with a home run, 1 run, 2 RBI, and a walk on the day.  Torii Hunter also homered for Detroit.

Cleveland Indians (46-42):Michael Brantley hit the second of his two home runs Sunday in the bottom of the 8th, which ended up being the winning run. The Indians got 2 more insurance runs later in the inning. Brantley scored 3 runs and knocked 5 on the day.

Minnesota Twins (37-48): The Blue Jays pounded the Twins 11-5. Trevor Plouffe and Aaron Hicks each homered and drove in 2 for Minnesota. Scott Diamond gave up 6 runs on 8 hits in 4.2 innings, taking the loss.

Chicago White Sox (34-51): John Danks pitched fairly well again but took the loss when his team was unable to score more than 1 run. He went 7 innings, surrendering 3 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. he struck out 5.