SSDD: Royals fail to provide starting pitcher with run support, lose baseball game

USA TODAY Sports

This one was tough to witness.

The Kansas City Royals wasted another strong start from a starting pitcher, this time failing to provide Ervin Santana with any run support as the team fell 3-1 to the Texas Rangers.

Santana tossed seven innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits. The right-hander struck out five Rangers and walked two, throwing 108 pitches in the process.

The Rangers scored their only run against Santana in the top of the first inning. Elvis Andrus hit a groundball to Alcides Escobar, but the shortstop made a throwing error on the play, allowing Andrus to reach second base. David Murphy followed Andrus with a flyball to center, which advanced Andrus to third, then Lance Berkman hit a groundout to drive in Andrus.

Texas won the game in the bottom of the eighth against the Royals bullpen. J.C. Gutierrez relieved Santana, and got the first two Rangers out he faced. Jurickson Profar then hit a solo home run off Gutierrez, breaking a 1-1 tie.

Andrus followed with a single to centerfield, then advanced to third when George Kottaras made a throwing error on the stolen base attempt. Murphy then hit a single of Tim Collins, who replaced Gutierrez, giving the Rangers an insurance run.

The Royals had a great opportunity to bust this game open early. Billy Butler led off the top of the second inning with a walk, then Mike Moustakas hit a single to put two runners on. Lorenzo Cain followed Moustakas with another single, but the ball wasn't hit particularly hard and Butler is a slow runner, so the designated hitter was unable to score.

Jeff Francoeur then hit a flyball to centerfield, but Rangers centerfielder Craig Gentry gunned down Butler at the plate when he attempted to tag up and score. Kottaras then reached base on a wild pitch strikeout, reloading the bases with two outs. Chris Getz ended the threat with a flyout to centerfield.

Butler also lead off the top of the fourth inning with a walk, then advanced to second when Yu Darvish hit Moustakas with a pitch. Cain followed Moustakas with a strikeout, then Francoeur hit a deep flyball to center, which allowed Butler to tag up and advance to third. Darvish struck out Kottaras to strand two more Royals runners.

The Royals scored their only run in the top of the eighth inning. Alex Gordon led off the inning with a double against Neal Cotts, then Alcides Escobar sacrificed Gordon over to third with a bunt. Homser then hit a groundball to third baseman Jeff Baker, who attempted to throw out Gordon at the plate. Gordon beat the throw, tying the game with Hosmer on first and one out.

Hosmer attempted to steal second base during the next at-bat, but was thrown out by Geovanny Soto. That out proved to be big, as Butler drew a walk during the at-bat, and Moustakas followed Butler with a single. Cain grounded out to second to end the inning.

Gordon and Moustkas both had multi-hit games, while Butler drew three walks. Cain, however, was the only other Royals hitter to pick up a hit.

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