The anticipation was high for this game as a large crowd of Royals fans wanted to see retaliation for Brett Lawrie's hard slide into Alcides Escobar in last night's game. The Royals did indeed get their retaliation eventually, but otherwise looked flat, giving Oakland the last laugh in a 5-0 shutout victory. Brett Lawrie came up in the third inning to a chorus of boos, but despite buckling his legs on a Yordano Ventura curveball, Lawrie escaped without getting plunked.
The Royals got something going in the bottom of the inning when Omar Infante led off with a bloop double down the line and advanced to third on left-fielder Sam Fuld's terrible throw. But neither Christian Colon nor Paulo Orlando were able to get a ground ball past a drawn-in infield and Mike Moustakas ended the threat by flying out to right field.
The A's would make that failure to score pay the very next inning. Stephen Vogt, who has killed the Royals in this series already, plated a run home with an RBI double to put Oakland on the board. Billy Butler would lace a single against his old mates to make it 2-0. After an Ike Davis single, Josh Reddick drilled a pitch over the wall for a three-run home run.
With Brett Lawrie due up, it didn't take a scientist to figure out what would happen next. Yordano drilled Lawrie, causing benches to empty, although Lawrie did not charge the mound. Order was restored, buy Ventura was ejected from the game after less than four innings of work and five runs given up.
Yohan Pino gamely gave the Royals some good mop-up innings, making you wonder if he was called up expressly for this purpose tonight. He gave up just three hits and no walks over 4 2/3 innings of work, with three strikeouts to boot. But the Royals could muster up very little offense all night. They managed just three hits against Jesse Hahn over 5 1/3 innings of work, despite his inability to strike anyone out. Old friend Jesse Chavez, on the other hand, struck out six of the sixteen hitters he faced.
The Royals get their revenge, but lose the game. The whole night leaves a bittersweet taste in my mouth. Perhaps the team will rally around this incident and come closer as a team. Or perhaps Yordano Ventura is revealing his youthful immaturity. In any case, the Royals will get a chance to serve the best revenge - a series win - tomorrow afternoon.