The Royals offense reached new levels of incompetence in a 1-0, thirteen inning loss to the Rangers to open the series. It was a night of complete offensive ineptitude. The Royals went 4-for-41 for the night. They dropped their team batting average ten points from a dismal .221 to .211 in one night. They have scored seven runs in their last 50 innings of baseball.
Danny Duffy was, again, brilliant. He tossed shutout ball for 7 1⁄3 innings, allowing just four hits and three walks while striking out five, lowering his ERA to 1.23. Peter Moylan and Mike Minor provided solid relief, and the Rangers did not get a hit from the fifth inning until Joey Gallo doubled with one out in the thirteenth off Travis Wood. Delino DeShields followed with a single and like that, the game plated its first run, the winning run.
The Royals did have some chances early on. They put a pair of runners on the first, but the inning ended when Mike Moustakas was picked off second. Again, they put a pair of runners on in the third, but Raul Mondesi (who walked!) was caught stealing, and Mike Moustakas ended the threat with a ground out. Alcides Escobar led off the fifth with a double, but was stranded. After a Lorenzo Cain single and steal in the sixth, Eric Hosmer worked a 3-1 count, but popped it up.
3-1 pitch and this shouldn't be an infield fly pic.twitter.com/amiQoy0rHb— Shaun Newkirk (@Shauncore) April 21, 2017
Salvador Perez's groundout to end the sixth was the Royals' 100th at-bat with runners in scoring position this year. They have 15 hits.— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) April 21, 2017
Once the game got into extras, both teams began swinging as if they wanted to end the game with one swing. Which meant neither team got much of anything going. Mike Napoli looked like he might end it in the twelfth when he smashed a pitch from Travis Wood to the warning track, but Alex Gordon tracked it down for an out. The Royals, on the other hand, struck out 14 times, including three strikeouts each from the two hitters at the bottom of the lineup, Paulo Orlando and Raul Mondesi.
With the bullpen getting a workout, and Matt Strahm eligible to be recalled tomorrow, it seems likely the reliever will be called up and the team will go back to 13 pitchers. That would take away yet another bat when the offense is scuffling. But with the way these hitters are hitting, perhaps it wouldn’t hurt much at all. The Royals need to get their offense kick-started, because they cannot keep pitching like this all season. The calendar will soon turn to May, it is time to wake up the Royals lineup.