Kansas City Royals blanked by Baltimore Orioles, drop series

After winning the first game of the series, the Kansas City Royals fell short and dropped the final two contests against the Baltimore Orioles.

Kansas City had an opportunity to win the series against Baltimore, yet Sunday marks a return to the losing ways.

The Kansas City Royals certainly had fans hopeful following the All-Star break, returning with a seven-run win against the American League-worst Baltimore Orioles. Yet, the Orioles proceeded to look like a pennant contender the following two games, outscoring the Royals 13-4 in the two contests, one of which was a Sunday shutout.

Carlos Hernandez made his second career start and posted six strikeouts, but allowed two runs in four innings pitched. The bullpen offered little help, as relievers  Kyle Zimmer, Josh Staumont, and Greg Holland each gave up a run in relief efforts.

While Hernandez’s numbers leave something to be desired, manager Mike Matheny found positives in Sunday’s start.

Matheny said, via MLB:

“He just keeps maturing when he gets on the mound, being able to work himself back into counts. He was throwing behind-the-count breaking balls for strikes. With that electric fastball, to have that ability to not be as predictable as far as sitting on fastballs, he did a nice job pitching. It seems like he’s building confidence every time he gets out there.”

Despite the continued march to more than 100 losses, another positive was Hunter Dozier’s performance at the plate. Dozier accounted for four of the Royals’ six hits on Sunday, including a double off the wall in the ninth inning.

Dozier said, via The Kansas City Star:

 

“When I’m driving balls to right-center, up the middle, that tells me I’m doing something right.”

Dozier opened up about how an April thumb injury has contributed to his lackluster batting performance this season. His season batting average sits at .192, yet Dozier has a .286 average in the month of July and a four-game hitting streak.

Carlos Santana and Nicky Lopez provided the other two hits for the Royals, as all Royals starters sit at a sub-.280 batting average.

Kansas City moves on to Milwaukee after dropping the series to Baltimore. Mike Minor is the expected starter on Tuesday for the Royals against the NL Central leaders. Surprisingly, the Royals have a 2-0 series lead against the Brewers this season.

Tuesday’s game has a 3:10 CST start time, to not conflict with the NBA Finals Game 6 the same night.