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Rain, limp offense drowns Royals 6-2 in finale

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Poor starting pitching and offense is the cause of death yet again.

Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The Kansas City Royals, now 30-21, fell in the finale against the Cleveland Not Racists, now 26-27, 6-2 behind a poor start by Chris Young and yet another bad offensive performance.

Let's dwell on that for a second.  The Royals have now lost seven of their last nine games.  Here is the Royals' offensive output for the losses:

  • 1 run
  • 1 run
  • 1 run
  • 2 runs
  • 1 run
  • 1 run
  • 2 runs

The Royals aren't scoring, and that's a big problem. Lorenzo Cain's monster 2-run home run was the only offense that the Royals were able to scavenge against Not Racists starter Trevor Bauer and relievers Nick Hagadone, Bryan Shaw, and Marc Rzydpfjposki. Kansas City only picked up four hits, and the other three hits--by Alcides Escobar, Kendrys Morales, and Omar Infante (praise be the baseball gods for that one) were scattered singles.  Surprisingly, the Royals did walk five times.  Still, if you don't get key hits, walking will only do you so good. The Royals were 0-5 with men in scoring position.

Cleveland, on the other hand, took a great approach to formerly untouchable fill-in starter Chris Young.  Young guided balls into the air and then his defenders' gloves just like normal for the first two innings.  But then came the third inning. Ahead in the count 0-2, Young induced a groundball that ricocheted off his glove, allowing Michael Bourn an infield single. Bourn's steal of second and Roberto Perez's groundout put Bourn at third base with only one out.

Then, the metaphorical rain came. Jason Kipnis singled, Carlos Santana doubled, Michael Brantley singled, and David Murphy doubled to gather four runs and make it 4-0 Not Racists.  If was a focused attack that the Royals have sorely lacked for most of the last two weeks.

In the bottom of the third inning, Cain's homer would cut the lead in half to 4-2, and an Eric Hosmer walk and a Morales single would add another pair of baserunners with two outs left.  They did not score. Bauer wouldn't allow more than one baserunner the rest of the game, and after allowing a two-out single to Escobar in the seventh inning, he was removed by Terry Francona for Francona's Parade of Same-Handed Relievers.

The literal rain came in the bottom of the eighth inning. Hosmer worked a full count but struck out looking, which would turn out to be the final out of the game. After a short rain delay, the umpires called the game and the Not Racists' 6-2 victory became final.

Young was removed from the game after five innings, allowing Brandon Moss's 2-run homer in the fifth inning to elevate Cleveland to that final 6-run score in his final frame. Young has been fantastic for the Royals, but he has been too good, so regression was always likely. Lo, it happened.  With Danny Duffy returning soon, Kris Medlen's approaching debut, and John Lamb knocking at the door from Omaha, the rotation will probably go through some additional changes.

The Royals fall out of the tie for first place in the American League Central with tonight's loss. They lose their first series at home in the process. They will play the Texas Rangers in a three-game set this weekend.