Royals vs. Nationals Final Score: Bats Awaken, Pitching Fails in 11-10 Defeat


This is just the way things are when they are going badly. The Kansas City Royals (64-63) jumped ahead of the Washington Nationals (64-64) quickly by scoring 3 runs in each of the first 2 innings but still trailed by two by the time they batted in the fourth. Things could not have gone more wrong for this success-starved franchise in the last two weeks.

Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

On the Mound

Regression continues to nail Bruce Chen hard.  He didn’t allow a hit through 2.2 innings before giving up a run on 2 hits and a walk in the third with 2 outs. He was leading 6-1 in the fourth when the game just flat out got out of hand. In the 4th, Chen was pounded for 6 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks, while recording just two outs. Chen’s manager did him no favors by just leaving him out there to get punished. Finally, New Yost awoke from his shell shocked coma and pulled Chen.

The bullpen struggled in this one, too. Louis Coleman gave up his first run of the season when the first batter he faced in relief of Chen, Jayson Werth, blasted a home run. He settled down after that, pitching 1.1 innings without another score. Tim Collins then yielded 3 runs (just 1 earned though) before Kelvin Herrera and Luis Mendoza righted things late.

At the Plate

This has been very rare of late, but there were plenty of heroes on offense. Eric Hosmer was the star, going 3-3 with 2 walks, a home run, 3 runs scored, and 3 RBI. Alex Gordon suddenly looked much better, going 3-4 with a walk and scoring 4 runs while batting lead off. Billy Butler and Justin Maxwell pitched in with 2 hits each, with Maxwell hitting a home run as well.

After the 6-run explosion in the 1st two innings, the Royals only scored 1 more run until they tried to charge back in the 9th. Kansas City scratched back for 3 more runs in the 9th but just came up a run short in their rally.

This and That

The 10 runs the Royals scored Friday were almost half the 21 total runs they had scored over the past 10 games.

Ned Yost just can’t understand that the concept of stats. Despite being left handed, David Lough is hitting .283 against lefties this season with a .725 OPS. Chris Getz, who is also left handed, hits just .225 against southpaws with a paltry .494 OPS. Why not start Emilio Bonifacio at second and Lough in center? Not that much, if anything, would be lost defensively, and Lough is a much better offensive player than Getz.

Yost started four players who have an OPS under .600 last night – Getz (.570), Jamey Carroll (.512), Bonifacio (.591), and Alcides Escobar (.565).  These four players went 2-16, although Bonifacio walked twice. Dayton Moore must shoulder part of the blame for this even being an option.

Except for the small sample size of his 18 career starts batting second, Alex Gordon’s slash line while leading off his much better leading off than any where else in the line-up – .289/.364/.468/.832. It is true that Gordon doesn’t do that great leading off games, but that is just one at bat, and he is still better than any other option the Royals have. Yost, just leave him alone. Bat him lead off and leave him alone.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Eric Hosmer’s big night gains him his 13th POG honor. Alex Gordon’s night can’t be ignored, either. Welcome back to leading off, Gordon! It is Gordo’s 15th POG. Honorable mention to Justin Maxwell.

Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Nationals

Just like the White Sox, the Royals have caught the Nationals on a hot streak. This was their 4th straight. If they win again tonight, they will actually have a better record than the Royals.

Ian Desmond and Tyler Moore each had 3 hits for the Nats while Bryce Harper knocked in 3 with the big bases loaded double against Chen in the 4th.

Tanner Roark pitched 4.2 stellar, scoreless innings in relief of the ineffective Gio Gonzalez. Roark only allowed 1 hit and 1 walk in his outing.

Up Next

Wade Davis (6-9, 5.43 ERA) will try to get the Royals back on the winning track tonight against the very sold Jordan Zimmerman (14-7, 3.37 ERA). Let’s hope for the great Wade Davis, who has an ERA below 2 in 11 starts, and not the horrible Davis who has an ERA over 10 in 12 starts.

AL Central Notes

Detroit Tigers (75-53): Doug Fister yielded just 1 run on 8 hits over 6.1 innings in the 6-1 win against the Mets. Austin Jackson, Torii Hunter, and Miguel Cabrera all homered in the game.

Cleveland Indians (69-59): Ubaldo Jimenez struck out 10 in 6 innings, giving up just 2 runs on 5 hits. Unfortunately, his offense could only drum up 1 run and and he took the loss in a 5-1 ballgame against the Twins.

Minnesota Twins (57-70): Sam Deduno hurled 6 innings of 1-run ball as he got his 8th win of the season. Chris Herrmann, Clete Thomas, and Pedro Florimon each had 2 hits against the Indians.

Chicago White Sox (52-75): Chris Sale took one for the team as he allowed 8 runs on 8 hits over 7 innings against the Rangers. It wasn’t like they got to him late. He allowed at least one run in 5 different innings in the 11-5 loss.