The Royals looked completely listless in a 4-0 shutout loss to the Texas Rangers. Alex "Chi Chi" Rodriguez, pitching in just his second Major League game, tossed a complete game three-hit shutout, and has not allowed a run over the first 14 2/3 innings of his career. Gonzalez struck out two and walked just two hitters, and allowed just two runners in scoring position all night.
Gonzalez, a former first-round pick and the #89 prospect in baseball according to Baseball America may well be a very good pitcher, but this game represents a troubling trend with the Royals offense. Since their 12-run outburst against the Yankees on May 15, the Royals have scored just 46 runs in 15 games (2.88 per game) and have hit just .221/.271/.323 as a team. Tonight the team was all about pop-ups and weak-ground outs. One of their only hits of the night was a bunt single by Eric Hosmer, no doubt in frustration at the lack of offense.
Edinson Volquez had pretty mixed results, allowing a triple to start the game and a first inning run, then settling down to allow no hits over the next four frames. Mitch Moreland led off the sixth with an opposite field solo home run, and Ned Yost pulled Volquez after a singles by Elvis Andrus, Leonys Martin, and Robinson Chirinos plated home a pair of runs to stretch the lead to 4-0. Volquez would leave with six strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings, with three walks and four runs allowed.
The Royals did give heralded rookie Joey Gallo the Golden Sombrero tonight so that's something. The Rangers had little trouble running on the Royals and Volquez's slow delivery, with Martin and Andrus each swiping a pair of bases. Overall the team looked flat, even a step slow on defense where Rangers runners barely beat the Royals out on close plays at second and home, and Lorenzo Cain coming up short on a first inning fly ball.
The Twins lose, so the Royals remain a game out of first, but the bats need to start showing up soon or the Royals won't remain in contention.