James Shields Fails Again in Embarassing Loss


Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Starter James Shields continued to struggle Tuesday night, giving up 4 earned runs in 5 innings before the bullpen imploded in Kansas City’s 10-2 loss to the Twins in Minnesota.

Shields had a whole lot of help in Tuesday’s poor performance, highlighted by Mike Moutakas’ buffoonish play in the 3rd inning in which he only backed off a pop-fly at the last moment—causing Alex Gordon to drop what should have been an easy out. The error ended up costing the Royals a run when Kendrys Morales hit an infield single with 2 outs.

Overall, the Royals allowed 4 unearned runs and issued 5 walks in one of their worst-played games of the season.

The loss drops Kansas City to 43-40. Kansas City lost a game to Detroit to fall 4.5 games behind first place in the American League Central.

On the Mound

James Shields has been mostly bad since the middle of May. His last quality start came on June 15, and he’s only surpassed the rather low quality start bar (3 earned runs in 6 innings) 2 out of his last 8 games.

That’ s not good.

Today, Shields only lasted 5.0 innings, allowing 9 hits, 2 walks, and 5 runs (4 earned) with 5 strikeouts. He didn’t even save the bullpen much.

Mike Mariot relieved Shields in the 6th and was nothing short of awful. Mariot only retired 1 of 7 batters he faced, going .1 innings, allowing 3 hits, 2 walks, and 5 runs (2 earned). However, one runner reached on an error.

Francisely Bueno relieved Mariot, and gave up a single and wild pitch before he could retire the side. Overall, 5 runs scored in the 6th—which put the game out of reach at 10-1. Bueno went 2.2 innings, allowing 3 hits and 0 earned runs.

At the Plate

The Royals weren’t much better at the plate. The team did manage 10 hits and 1 walk, but could only score 2 runs. Danny Valencia had the only extra-base hit with his RBI double in the 8th inning.

Eric Hosmer was the only Royal with more than 1 hit, going 4-4 with 4 singles, 0 runs scored, and 0 RBI’s.

This and That

Newly acquired Raul Ibanez started in right field and got a hit in his first at bat—but was thrown out attempting to go from 1st to 3rd on Omar Infante‘s single. Mike Moutakas ended up driving in Infante with a 2-out single in the 2nd.

Manager Ned Yost cleared his bench after the deficit bulged to 10-1. Christian Colon got his first major-league action, entering the game as a pinch hitter for Alcides Escobar in the 7th. Colon went 0-2 on the day.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

I guess it has to be Hosmer. You can’t throw stones at a guy for going 4-4. It’s not his fault that no one could get on base for him. Perhaps Hosmer can get it going, because he needs to do something to turn his awful season around.

More from Kansas City Royals

The Twins

Every Twins starter got at least 1 hit. Edwin Nunez had the big day from the leadoff spot, going 3-5, with 2 singles, a solo home run (3), 1 walk, 3 runs scored, and 2 RBI’s. Kurt Suzuki also got on base 4 times, going 2-3, with 2 singles, 2 walks, 1 run scored and 1 RBI.

Up Next

The Royals conclude their 3-game series in Minnesota. Kansas City will send Jason Vargas (7-3, 3.53 ERA) to the mound against Kevin Correia (4-9, 5.08 ERA) for the Twins. Game time is 12:10 PM CST at Target Field in Minneapolis.