Baseball is usually fun. It has been decidedly anti-fun this weekend, as the Royals followed up a shellacking by the Astros with another 13-5 walloping on Saturday night.
The good news is that Chris Young made it through the first inning, something that Edinson Volquez would like to have been able to do. The bad news is, he had to pitch more innings. They went less well.
Young yielded seven runs in the second on another Astros hit parade, punctuated by back-to-back home runs off of the bats of Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa respectively. The Royals starter came out for the third, but after two walks and a strikeout, he was relieved by Peter Moylan. He gave up more runs in the fourth, but the issue was no longer in doubt by that point.
For their part, the Royals offense tried their best. Alex Gordon went yard and doubled in his first game back from injury. Lorenzo Cain also went 2-for-5, and Eric Hosmer went 2-for-4 with a walk. The only Royals batter not to get a hit was Salvador Perez, who reached on a walk, and was hit by a pitch, while contributing a sacrifice fly.
The other bright spot being that Drew Butera got to pitch. He has now thrown 3.2 innings in his career and has struck out four. Chants of "Let's go Drew" broke out among the sparse attendees who remained to see the event. Butera is the first position player to pitch for the Royals since MITCH did it back in 2012. Butera then doubled in the ninth, cementing his legacy as everybody's new favorite backup catcher. Sorry, George Kottaras.
Starting pitching woes have been the long and short stories of Kansas City's season. When the starters are good, the team wins. When they flail wildly at the strike zone and tilt against the figurative windmill of not giving up home runs, the team doesn't go anywhere. The Royals have now lost at home in back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Tomorrow, Kansas City tries to end yet another losing streak. Ian Kennedy (5-6, 4.19 ERA) twirls for the Royals as Doug Fister (8-3, 3.21) will bowl for Houston.