The Kansas City Royals, fresh off a 17-11 August, stumbled into September by losing both ends of a doubleheader to probably the worst team they have played in the last 32 days. For reasons unknown, or as Craig accurately described on Friday, for reasons being that this Royals' team is likely a 74 win squad: they continue to struggle against the worst team in the American League.
After today/tonight's contest(s), the Royals have now lost 10 of 14 to Minnesota. Along the way the Royals have provided Cole De Vries with three of his four career wins and while they did not yield Liam Hendriks first win this year, the Royals did give the Twins just the third win in 11 Hendriks' starts.
In Game One, the Royals managed just seven singles: that's a tough way to win a baseball game. Will Smith was solidly competent, allowing just three runs over six innings and Vin Mazzaro looked intriguing as a reliever. Mazzaro gave up a single to the first batter he faced, sprinkled in an intentional walk and then was untouched for the remainder of three innings.;
Sadly, the Royals offense came alive in the second game, but were buried by Luke Hochevar surrendering a three run homer in the first and a grand slam in the second. It was 'Bad Luke' night, as the enigma was touched for eight runs in less than two innings. He was awful.
The Royals had a chance to claw back into things due to Everett Teaford tossing 5.1 scoreless innings. He walked no one, struck out no one and was relieved by Kelvin Herrera who was one walk shy of perfect over the last two innings.
Seven runs eventually ended up on the Royals' side of the ledge in the nightcap. Salvador Perez had four hits, Billy Butler three, with Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas and David Lough each notching a pair of hits.
Tony Abreu grounded out with runners on first and second in the 7th, after the Royals had already scored two on an Eric Hosmer soft single to pull within one. Billy Butler left Alex Gordon on first in the 8th and Jarrod Dyson was picked off after pinch running for Salvador Perez, who singled to lead off the ninth. Felt all very familiar, frankly.
On the positive side, the Royals only have four games left against the Twins, who they are assisting in running down the Indians to not be worst. Would anyone be surprised if Kansas City was swept tomorrow afternoon, but turns around to take three ouf of four from the Texas Rangers the next four days?