Bullpen, offense falter in Royals 4-2 loss

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

Another disappointing game and close loss.

The Kansas City Royals lost their second straight game north of the border, falling to the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 at the Rogers Centre.

Kansas City jumped on R.A. Dickey early, scoring a run in the top of the second. Salvador Perez drew a one-out walk, then advanced to second when Jarrod Dyson slapped a two-out single. Alcides Escobar followed with a single, plating Perez.

The Royals next run came in the top of the third. Emilio Bonifacio led off the inning with a triple, then Hosmer drove him in with a single. Billy Butler, Mike Moustakas and Perez followed with three groundouts, ending the inning.

Dickey settled in after third, holding the Royals scoreless for the next five innings. The knuckleballer allowed two runs on six hits over eight innings, striking out six while walking two.

Jeremy Guthrie countered with a very Guthrie-esque start. Toronto had plenty of opportunities to score, collecting eight hits against the right-hander, but only scraped one run over seven innings. The Blue Jays were overly aggressive on the basepaths, running into three outs; Alex Gordon tossed out a pair of runners, while David Lough picked up an assist as well.

Toronto scored their only run against Guthrie in the bottom of the seventh. Rajai Davis smacked a two-out double, then Josh Thole drove him in with a single. Thole ended the inning trying to stretch his single into a double, running into one of the aforementioned outs.

The wheels fell off for the Royals in the eighth. Kelvin Herrera relieved Guthrie to start the inning. Munenori Kawasaki led off the inning with an infield single, then advanced to second when Jose Reyes hit a Texas-league single past Escobar. Yost yanked Herrera, bringing in Will Smith to face Ryan Goins.

Goings hit a double-play ball right at Escobar, but the shortstop booted the play, which allowed Kawasaki to score from second to tie the game. Smith then walked Edwin Encarnacion, loading the bases for pinch-hitter Mark DeRosa. Yost pulled Smith, bringing in Aaron Crow with the bases juiced and one out.

Crow recorded the second out of the inning, striking out DeRosa on three pitches. Brett Lawrie then drew a four-pitch walk against Crow, driving in the go-ahead run. Crow followed the Lawrie walk with another walk to Davis; ball four should have been the first strike of the at-bat, but the call mattered little. Yost got himself ejected after the second walk, the manager's first ejection of the year.

Tim Collins relieved Crow and recorded the final out of the inning, but Toronto ended up scoring three runs in the inning without really hitting the ball well, taking a 4-2 lead.

The Royals attempted to mount a comeback in the ninth inning against closer Casey Janssen. Janssen hit Lough to start the inning, but struck out Dyson for the first out of the inning. George Kottaras then pinch-hit for Escobar, rewarding the correct managerial decision with a single to right. The single advanced Lough to third and Chris Getz pinch-ran for Kottaras.

That brought Gordon to the plate with runners on the corners and one out, but the leadoff hitter struck out for the second out of the inning. Getz then attempted to steal second, and was called out to end the game.

It was a close play at second base; I thought Getz was safe, but it could have gone either way. The Royals probably feel persecuted by the umpires in Toronto, but if you only score four runs in two games, you don't really deserve to win.

Getz entered Saturday with 0.0 fWAR over 230 plate appearances this year. He has complied 0.7 fWAR over 1,117 plate appearances in Kansas City. He should not be playing second base consistently for a team that has dreams of reaching the playoffs.

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