Royals vs Blue Jays: Bullpen, Defense Cost The Royals A Win


It hasn’t happened a whole lot this season but the Kansas City Royals’ (69-66) bullpen and defense failed in the 8th inning on Saturday, causing a 4-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays (62-74). The offense was toothless most of the afternoon as well.

Aug 21, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

On the Mound

Jeremy Guthrie did his job on Saturday, turning over a 2-1 lead to his normally stalwart bullpen. Guthrie just allowed the one run on 8 hits and no walks over his 7 innings, and deserved the win. It was not to be.

Three relievers – Kelvin Herrera, Will Smith, Aaron Crow – yielded 3 runs (2 unearned due to an Alcides Escobar error), on 2 hits and 3 walks while only recording 2 outs.

At the Plate

The Royals only mustered 3 hits after the third inning. They knocked out 5 hits, leading to 2 runs, in those first three frames, but the bats went ice cold after that.

Alex Gordon went 1-5 and left 4 on base on the day. Billy Butler left 3 on while getting blanked on a 0-4 afternoon. Only Eric Hosmer had much going on with a 2-3 day, plus a walk.

This and That

Escobar committed a huge error in the 8th but the Royals did have 3 outfield assists on the day – two by Alex Gordon and one by David Lough.

The Royals have 34 outfield assists thus far, led by Alex Gordon’s 14. It is hard to determine just how many bases have been saved by the threat of the Royals’ outfield and their arms.

Gordon, who has won a Gold Glove each of the past two years, should win another in 2013. He hasn’t committed an error in 128 games (going into  Saturday), over 1124 innings, and 267 chances, all the while making diving catches, running snags, and accurate throws.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Guthrie’s fine outing should have earned him a win. He will have to settle for his 6th KCK Player of the Game.

Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays

Jose Reyes, who suffered a major ankle injury in April at Kauffman Stadium, went 3-4 with a run scored. Reyes has his season average up to .296.

Casey Janssen, finishing off a good start by R.A. Dickey, picked up his 26th save, and his 2nd in two nights against the Royals.

Up Next

James Shields (9-8, 3.14 ERA) will attempt to help the Royals avoid a sweep against a team well below .500 when he takes the bump against J.A. Happ (3-4, 5.45 ERA) at 12:07 on Sunday.

AL Central Notes

Detroit Tigers (80-56): The Tigers pounded out 15 hits in their 10-5 win over the Indians Saturday night. Omar Infante did most of the damage on this night, going 2-5 with 2 home runs, 2 runs scored, and 5 RBI. It was not all rosy – Torii Hunter left 7 on base during the contest. The Tigers were the only AL Central to win yesterday.

Cleveland Indians (71-64): If the Indians do not make the post season, they do not have to look very far for a reason. After their 10-5 loss last night, they have dropped their last 7 match-ups to Detroit, and are 3-15 against the Tigers this season.

Minnesota Twins (58-76): Mike Pelfrey hurled a splendid game against the Rangers, going 7 innings, giving up just 1 run on 6 hits and no walks, while striking out 7. His offense and bullpen failed him, though. After Brian Dozier‘s lead off home run to start the game, the Twins only managed 4 hits and no runs the rest of the game. The bullpen surrendered a run in the bottom of the 9th to lose 2-1.

Chicago White Sox (56-78): The Sox were effectively shut down by their former teammate, Jake Peavy, Saturday. Chicago mustered just 5 hits total against Peavy and the Red Sox. John Danks yielded 6 runs )1 unearned) on 11 hits in just 5 innings in the 7-2 loss.