Royals Recap: Santana Shines; Offense Impotent


This was the worry. How would the Kansas City Royals (62-56) play against the NL’s worst team, the Miami Marlins (46-73), after the big series against the Boston Red Sox, and before the even bigger series with the Detroit Tigers? Well, the concern was justified as Kansas City fell to Miami for the second day in a row, losing the game, 5-2, and the series, 2-1.

Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

On the Mound

The loss wasn’t the fault of Ervin Santana. In 6 innings, Santana surrendered just 1 run on 8 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3. He left the game with the lead, confident his team could hold or expand on it. They couldn’t.

Tim Collins got the loss because he was on the mound when Elliot Johnson made an error that led to 2 runs for the Marlins. Miami scored two more insurance runs in the ninth of Luke Hochevar to seal the game and series victory.

At the Plate

For the second straight outing, the Royals offense was absent. Five measly hits were all Kansas City could muster, giving them just 9 hits total over the past two games, spanning 19 innings. Eric Hosmer had two of the hits, both doubles, but left 6 runners on base. Three others managed to hit safely once.

Led individually by Hosmer’s 6 and Alex Gordon‘s (0-5) five, the Royals as a team stranded 11 base runners. They only managed the 5 hits but they did draw 8 walks, 3 by Chris Getz.

This and That

The Royals acquired Emilio Bonifacio, the older brother of Northwest Arkansas prospect Jorge Bonifacio, from the Toronto Blue Jays for cash or a player to be named later. Expect a corresponding roster move today – either Mike Moustakas to the DL, or someone will be released or optioned to the minors.

Miguel Tejada was placed on the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster and is done for the year, and maybe, forever.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Only one player performed well enough to even be considered – Ervin Santana. It is Santana’s 9th POG of the season.

Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The Marlins

Miami’s rather weak, inexperienced offense banged out 12 hits against the Royals. Justin Ruggiano, who was on an 0-42 streak going back to July 12th, had 3 hits. Donovan Solano, Logan Morrison, and Jake Marisnick each had 2.

Former Detroit Tiger farmhand, Jacob Turner allowed 1 earned (and 1 unearned) run in 5 innings. He gave up just 4 hits but he walked 6. Luckily for him, all of those walks didn’t end up costing him.

Up Next

Despite the stubbed toe that was the Marlins, the Royals must find a way to get back on track. Today is the start of maybe the most important single series the Royals have played in a long, long time – at least since 2003, maybe longer. The Royals go into Detroit for 5 games in four days. At the very least, they must hold the line against the Tigers. They cannot win less than 2 this weekend and still have much of a chance in the wild card race.

Jeremy Guthrie (12-8, 4.10 ERA) will take the mound for the Royals and Anibal Sanchez (10-7, 2.58 ERA) will go for the Tigers.

AL Central Notes

Detroit Tigers (70-49): Rick Porcello bent but did not break on Wednesday, giving up 11 hits and a walk in 6 innings. The White Sox were only able to push 3 of those runners across the plate against him. Miguel Cabrera homered in the 6-4 win.

Cleveland Indians (65-56): In a 12 inning slug fest, the Indians outlasted the Twins 9-8. Jason Giambi went 2-3 with a home run, 2 runs scored, and 3 RBI. Jason Kipnis was 3-5 with 2 runs scored in the victory.

Minnesota Twins (53-65): Joe Mauer banged out 5 hits in 7 at bats, with a homer, 2 runs, and 4 batted in but it was not enough as the Twins fell to the Tribe 9-8 in 12 innings. Clete Thomas pitched in 3 hits in the game.

Chicago White Sox (46-73): The Sox had 14 hits and 5 walks against the Tigers but could only score 4 runs. They left 15 base runners on. Five different hitters left 3 or more on base.


Tampa Bay Rays (67-51, 0 GB)

Oakland Athletics (67-52, 0 GB)

Baltimore Orioles (65-55, 2.5 GB)

Cleveland Indians (65-56, 3 GB)

Kansas City Royals (62-56, 4.5 GB)

New York Yankees (62-57, 5 GB)