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Royals Recap: Chen Awesome; Offense Not So Much


Who could have predicted Bruce Chen for the Kansas City Royals (43-47), making his first start of the year, could pitch such a gem. Unfortunately, while the Cleveland Indians were frustrated and baffled by Chen, that was not the case in other areas. The Indians easily figured out the Royals’ bullpen and offense, and were able to shutout Kansas City, 3-0.

Jul 7, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Bruce Chen (52) delivers a pitch in the fifth inning of the game against the Oakland Athletics at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

On the Mound

You would have needed a magic eight ball, or tarot cards, or a working, cloudy, globe to predict Bruce Chen throw six 1-hit innings on Friday. He had Indian hitters popping the ball up all over the place and slamming the bats in frustration in his first start of the season. Tim Collins and Aaron Crow had no such luxuries as these two promptly gave up all three runs without getting the final out of the 7th. Ball game.

At the Plate

Twice, the Royals had the bases loaded and could not score a run.  In the fifth, Alex Gordon swung and missed at what appeared to be ball four, followed by Eric Hosmer (batting second instead of Alcides Escobar) grounding out to the pitcher. In the 9th, Jarrod Dyson struck out looking to end a rally attempt. The Royals only managed 5 hits on the night, 2 of which came from Mike Moustakas.

This and That

Bruce Chen lowered his ERA to 2.04 on the year.

Mike Moustakas raised his average to .217 on the season.

All of the euphoria surrounding the Royals after the first 2 games in New York has quickly disappeared, as the glaring weakness of this team is spotlighted once again. It has been 16 innings since the Royals have scored a run.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

I would not have guessed it would be Bruce Chen, but here we are. Chen becomes the 23 different KCK POG of the season.

The Indians

Corey Kluber hurled 7.2 scoreless, 3-hit innings Friday. He is now 2-0 against the Royals this season in 3 starts. He has pitched 20 innings, and allowed just 6 runs.

Five of the Indians 6 hits were in the 7th inning, and led to the 3 runs. While Carlos Santana‘s single scored the deciding run, it was Michael Bourn‘s 2-run pinch hit double that really buried the Royals, especially since the Royals didn’t make any kind of play to sign him in the off season.

Up Next

Jeremy Guthrie (8-6, 4.12 ERA) will try to right the ship for the Royals. It won’t matter how well he pitches if his teammates can’t score of Scott Kazmir (4-4, 4.74 ERA).

AL Central Notes

Detroit Tigers (51-41): No one home runs for the Tigers Friday but they did have 11 hits. Austin Jackson, Torii Hunter, Prince Fielder, and Jhonny Peralta each had 2 in support of Doug Fister. It still resulted in a 7-2 win against the Rangers.

Minnesota Twins (37-53): Things appear to pretty much over for the Twins as they fell 2-0 to the Yankees. They have dropped 6 in a row and 9 of their last 10.

Chicago White Sox (36-53): Their game with the Phillies was postponed due to rain but that didn’t mean the White Sox were inactive. They traded long time reliever, Matt Thornton, to the Red Sox for outfielder Brandon Jacobs.