After four innings it looked as though the Royals were going to ride Ervin Santana's coattails to victory. Santana was completely overpowering early on, working around a walk in the first by striking out the side and not allowing a ball out of the infield until the third when Chris Johnson lined out to center. He allowed just two hits in the first four innings, striking out five (though Andrelton Simmons reached on a wild pitch on one of the strikeouts only to be thrown out attempting to steal second).
For once, a Royals starting pitcher was spotted a lead early, as Billy Butler singled in Eric Hosmer, who advanced to second after reaching on a fielder's choice after Alex Gordon left third on contact and got caught in a run-down.
Sure, they did next to nothing for the next three innings--the Royals "offense" consisted of a Dyson bunt single/stolen base combo to lead off the third before being stranded, and a two-out Moustakas double (I know, I didn't know he could do that either) followed by an impressive David Lough walk that led to zero runs.
With the Royals up 1 - 0, heading into the fifth, the Ervin Santana Bullet Train ran off the rails. Shadow Royal Chris Johnson kicked the Braves rally off with a lead-off double. Simmons singled, advancing the hero from Next to third. Johnson was then driven in by HGH enthusiast Jordan Schafer, who channeled his dubious superpowers to double to right, and Jason Heyward doubled to shallow right, plating Simmons and Schafer. The Braves would suddenly make like the Royals and strand Heyward and eventually Brian McCann leaving them with just three runs scored in the inning.
Santana would be given the gift of the no-decision in the bottom of the fifth as Eric Hosmer crushed a two-run shot to deep right field, but would leave the game after collecting himself in the sixth but running his pitch count up to 102. If ever a dong-hanging was majestic, it was Hosmer's, giving many fans pause as perhaps the Son of God has Risen, or at the very least returned from his sojourn in the desert.
Unfortunately for the Royals, Tim Collins was asleep and missed that the Son had Risen and promptly gave up a Heyward homer in the seventh, ceding the lead and ultimately the game to Atlanta.
Kris Medlen throttled the Royals in the bottom of the seventh, striking out the side with ease. Jordan Walden worked around an Alcides Escobar walk, despite giving Escobar second on an errant pick-off attempt to first and a subsequent stolen base. Hosmer popped out in foul territory in left, Butler was frozen by a knee-buckling slider for a called strikeout and out number two, and Perez flew out to right. Surprisingly, the Royals actually fielded a verifiable threat in the bottom of the ninth against the otherworldly Braves closer, Craig Kimbrel. Moustakas got the party started with a walk (again, who knew he could do that?). David Lough singled and Moustakas went first-to-third on the gap single. Elliot Johnson succumbed to Kimbrel's wicked arsenal, sitting down after having been embarrassed as so many before him have been, flailing feebly at a ball that was not meant to be touched with his wood. Lough stole second, putting the go-ahead run in scoring position, but Dyson followed with a strikeout of his own. Alex Gordon was then intentionally walked after getting ahead in the count 2 - 0, with Fredi Gonzalez and the Braves opting to take their chances with the number two hitter (heavy emphasis on the second meaning of number two hitter) Alcides Escobar. Escobar didn't disappoint. The Braves. He flew out to right, and Kimbrel was out of the jam, surprising few despite the rocky start to things.
The Royals have now dropped five of their last six games. These things happen when you cannot score runs, but who could have foreseen that being a problem this season?