Kris Medlen continued his early season struggles as the Royals lost 8-3 to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night. Night Train To Mundo Fine hit his fourth home run of the year, Eric Hosmer extended his hitting streak to thirteen games, and Dillon Gee pitched well in relief.
Medlen gave up twelve base runners in his 3.2 innings, and for those keeping score that is more base runners than outs recorded. Nine reached via hits, three more arrived via the long, slow walk to first. There was a mix of bad luck (Davis' single ricocheting off second, bloop singles, etc.) and bad pitching (Davis' home run, other hits) and more bad pitching (the aforementioned walks).
The final line may have reflected a smidgen of bad luck, but the gross tonnage of results was just poor performance. Medlen struggled with his control from the beginning of the game, getting into deep counts and more or less refusing to come over the plate at anyone. Probably because when he did, the ball was put in play. All three of his walks came around to score.
Manny Machado extended his hit streak to sixteen games in the first inning with a single. After moving to second on a groundout, he then tried to steal third on Salvador Perez.
Come on Manny lol https://t.co/nk6Ej5J0FL— Steve McCleary (@SteveMcCleary) April 23, 2016
That's typically how those things end.
Chris Davis, who had been standing at the plate when Machado was thrown out to end the inning, led off the second with a home run. Everyone thought it was good fortune. Instead, it was a portend of things to come. Medlen gave up another run in the second on a walk and two singles.
Salvador Perez then tied the game in the bottom of the frame with a home run. Following an Alex Gordon single, Perez took Tyler Wilson deep into left field for his fourth of the year.
Medlen coughed the lead back up in the third before completely unraveling in the fourth.
Meanwhile, Kansas City's defense took a cue from the 2006 Royals. Escobar misplayed a ground ball that should have been a double play. Gordon broke in on a line drive that went over his head. Dyson missed picking up an errant pickoff throw, slipping to the ground instead. Hosmer missed said pickoff throw. It was a tough night in the field for some reason. Ghosts, probably. Or goblins. But not Ghosts 'n Goblins, though that would explain the difficulty.
The only other bright spot of the evening was Dillon Gee, who pitched very well out of the bullpen in relief of Medlen. His performance is made more noteworthy by the fact that, were Medlen or Young to be replaced, Gee would be the most logical choice. He went 4.1 innings, yielding three hits and zero walks with five strikeouts. Also of note is that he threw 63 pitches before Chien-Ming Wang came on for the ninth, who promptly gave up another run while throwing a lot of pitches. Most of which sank, but either too much or not enough.
Tomorrow, Kansas City goes for the series victory. Yordano Ventura (1-0, 2.81) will match up against Mike Wright (1-1, 5.73) at 1:15 CST from Kauffman Stadium.