Kelvin Herrera gave up four runs in the eighth as the Royals season was taken off life support at 9:48 Central Standard Time. The loss marks Kansas City's fifth in a row, dropping their season line to 74-73 with far too much ground to make up in the AL Wild Card race.
The Royals gave it a fighting chance, though. Hunter Dozier, making his major league debut, went 1-for-3 with an RBI on an infield single. With an additional run scoring on an error, the effort tied the game 2-2 in the fifth.
Ian Kennedy had a serviceable outing, finishing six innings and giving up five hits and three walks with six strikeouts. Kennedy's season is a mixed bag of results, and depending on whose WAR you want to use, he was either a below-average starting pitcher or a #3. The truth, as it is in most things, is probably somewhere in the middle. He labored through the first two innings, and for a while it appeared he wouldn't be able to finish five.
The outfield was a mixed bag of 'huh?' as Billy Burns started and led off, followed vigorously by Whit Merrifield. Hunter Dozier appeared in right and was pulled for Jarrod Dyson as a defensive replacement in the eighth. Despite a certain lack of star quality, the starting outfield collected four of the Royals eight hits thru the first eight innings.
Kelvin Herrera was on for a four-out appearance after Matt Strahm ran into trouble in the seventh. It didn't seem like a big deal, but two hits, a walk, and a home run later, Chicago had retaken the lead 6-4 and stamped the final denial on the Royals playoff application.
Peter Moylan pitched the ninth and gave up a home run to Melky Cabrera. Cool. Chris Sale pitched a complete game, because there are very few players in Major League Baseball who look more like an old timey undertaker than Chris Sale.
Kansas City will look for a reason Saturday as they try to even the series with Chicago. Jason Vargas will make his seemingly pointless season debut as Chicago will throw out Miguel Gonzalez (4-6, 3.82 ERA).