Things were looking good for the Royals through one out of the game. The team had Scott Carroll on the ropes, scoring five runs with the first seven batters of the game. It seemed impossible at that moment that the Royals would lose, but the team found a way, falling 7-6 to the Chicago White Sox.
Let's start with the good. Norichika Aoki led off the game with a single, followed by a "single" from Alcides Escobar. Eric Hosmer doubled both of them with a shot that blasted off the wall. Billy Butler plated Hosmer with a single, then Alex Gordon drew a walk. Lorenzo Cain singled in Butler and Gordon, giving Kansas City a 5-0 advantage after one frame.
Chicago chipped away at the lead in the bottom of the third. Alexei Ramirez clubbed a three-run homer against Jason Vargas, connecting on a changeup that caught way to much of the plate into the left field bullpen. Vargas surrendered another homer in the fourth, this one of the solo variety to Dayan Viciedo. The Royals' five run advantage had quickly diminished to one.
Kansas City loaded the bases in the bottom of the third, but failed to drive in any runners. The team did score another run against Carroll in the fourth; Hosmer hit a RBI-single, driving in Escobar. Butler followed with a single, but Gordon and Salvador Perez could not drive in either runner.
Vargas, however, coughed up the lead in the top of the fifth. Adam Eaton led off the inning with a single, scoring later on a Ramirez groundout. Adam Dunn then worked a two-out walk, and Paul Konerko gave the White Sox the advantage with a two-run bomb. Here's the play again if you feel like smashing your face through glass:
Both team's bullpens' turned in strong performances after the starter's were pulled; neither team scored another run after the Konerko homer. The Royals', however, saw a great opportunity slip away in the top of the ninth.
Aoki led off the inning with a single, who was replaced by Jarrod Dyson as a pinchrunner. Escobar reached base thanks to a Matt Lindstrom error, putting two one with none out and KC's 3-4-5 hitters coming up.
Robin Ventura lifted Lindstrom for Scott Downs, who struck out Hosmer on a slider well out of the strike zone. Jake Petricka replaced Downs, and ended up picking Dyson off second for the second out of the inning. Petricka lifted his front foot, but turned towards second instead of throwing home, easily baiting Dyson. Dyson was caught in a pickle, and was forced out at second when Escobar advanced a base. Butler grounded out to second to end the game.
Dyson's play was particularly grating; he doesn't need a huge jump to score on a single, and there was only one out. If your best skill is speed, making outs on the basepaths is an easy way to upset the fanbase.
Still, Dyson isn't even put in that situation if Vargas doesn't surrender three home runs. It's obviously just one game, but this is the kind of loss that sticks with you (or at least me) for awhile.
The Royals will look to right the ship tomorrow night at Kauffman Stadium. Yordano Ventura will start the game for Kansas City, facing off against Andre Rienzo.