Royals Recap: 5th Loss Going Into The Break Is Costly


How quickly enthusiasm can be doused. The Kansas City Royals (43-49) dropped their fifth straight game as they head into the break with a 6-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians (51-44) on Sunday. The defeat put them 8 games behind the front running Detroit Tigers, and 6.5 games behind the Indians.

Jul 14, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians catcher Carlos Santana (41) throws the ball as Kansas City Royals designated hitter Billy Butler (16) reacts after being called out on strikes by home plate umpire David Rackley (86) in the ninth inning at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Royals fans were riding high after last Tuesday’s second straight win at New York that left them just 1 game under .500. That victory had them at 5-3 in the first part of a brutal 20-game stretch of the schedule. Many believed Kansas City had to play at least .500 ball to stay in the AL Central race. After the 5 losses, the Royals are now 5-8 in this gauntlet of games, and are now 6 games under .500.

On the Mound

This feels like a broken record but once again, James Shields struggled early in this ball game. His pitch count mounted quickly and he only lasted 5 innings. By only allowed 3 runs, he kept the Royals in the game, and actually left with a 4-3 lead. Manager Ned Yost decided to put Tim Collins in the tight game, despite the fact Collins has been struggling the last few weeks. Collins, and Ned Yost, were responsible for the for the final 3 tallies.

At the Plate

The Royals left 9 men on base as a team, but the individual totals were much worse. Eric Hosmer left 5 on, Salvador Perez, Mike Moustakas, and Lorenzo Cain (the 4-5-6 hitters) left 3 each, and 2 other batters left 2 on. Billy Butler had 3 hits, and Gordon and David Lough each had 2.

This and That

Greg Holland was finally added to the American League All-Star team on Sunday. It is the first time since 1988 the Royals have 3 representatives, when George Brett, Mark Gubicza, and Kurt Stillwell were selected.

Royal farmhands acquitted themselves well in the 2013 MLB Future’s game on Sunday at Citi Field in New York for the World Team. Miguel Almonte pitched a perfect inning with one strikeout, and Yordano Ventura threw just one pitch, and recorded the last out of the 8th inning for the World Team. If his team had tied the score or gone ahead in the 9th. Ventura would have pitched the 9th for his squad.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

There were not many choices. I’m going with Billy Butler, who went 3-5. He didn’t scored but it was not his fault the two guys behind him in the line-up went 0-8.

The Indians

Jason Kipnios continues to plague the Royals. On Sunday, he went 2-2 with a sacrifice fly, a run, 2 batted in, and 2 walks. . Carlos Santana was 3-3 with a walk, and Michael Bourn added 2 more hits to the Indians 13-hit parade.

Cleveland’s bullpen cruised through 5 scoreless innings on Sunday, only allowing 2 hits.

Up Next

With the All-Star break at hand, The Royals do not play until Friday, when they host the Tigers for a 3-game weekend tilt. Kansas City almost needs to sweep the Tigers to have any chance of staying alive in the divisional race.

Enjoy this week’s festivities with Alex Gordon, Salvador Perez, and Greg Holland in the All-Star Game.

AL Central Notes

Detroit Tigers (52-42): Justin Verlander threw seven 1-hit innings on Sunday as the Tigers shut out the Rangers, 5-0. Torii Hunter, Victor Martinez, and Jhonny Peralta homered in the game.

Minnesota Twins (39-53): The Twins exploded for 10 runs on 14 hits in a 10-4 victory over the Yankees. Aaron Hicks homered, and Brian Dozier, Justin Morneau, Trevor Plouffe, and Pedro Florimon all had at least 2 hits.

Chicago White Sox (37-55): Alejandro De Aza hit his 12th home run of the season in a 4-3 loss to the Phillies. David Purcey put 3 batters on in the 10th, and Ramon Troncoso allowed the game winning knock to John Mayberry, Jr.