First, the good news: Jorge Bonifacio poked a cutter outside into right field for his first big league hit as he batted third in the first inning. In the third with two out Mike Moustakas gave the Royals the lead with his sixth home run of the year, hooking it four rows back down the right field line. Jorge Bonifacio followed that up by absolutely crushing his first big league home run into the upper deck of the left field seats. That was the first time the Royals scored more than one run in an inning in 67 innings - a span that goes back to their 7-1 victory over the Angels a week and a half ago.
Now the bad news. Jason Hammel did not pitch particularly well, today. The Rangers had a scoring threat when two men on in the first inning, though Hammel struck out Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor to escape the threat. He also struck out pair to start the second inning to give him four in a row and struck out five on the day. He also walked three and hit two batters in only 3+ innings.
In the bottom of the third inning Hammel allowed a one-out single to Shin Soo Choo right past Hammel’s ear. Choo advanced to second on a hit-and-run grounder by Nomar Mazara and scored on a line drive single from Elvis Andrus.
Hammel's control escaped him entirely in the fourth inning. He issued his second walk of the day to Ryan Rua on five pitches, beaned Joey Gallo's foot on a 3-1 pitch, and then hit Robinson Chirinos on the wrist with a 1-2 pitch. He was left in to face Jurickson Profar who drew a 4 pitch walk to tie the game. That ended Hammel's day and Ned Yost asked Scott Alexander to stop the bleeding.
Alexander induced a groundball to Alcides Escobar on the first pitch he threw, but the shortstop tried to start a double play instead of going home. Escobar then didn’t make the best throw and the Royals only got one out while the Rangers took the lead. Alexander got another grounder to Escobar who this time successfully converted it into a 6-3 double play to end the inning. That third run, however, was all the Rangers needed even if it wasn’t all they’d get; Joey Gallo hit a home run off of Scott Alexander in the sixth inning and Chirinos got one of his own - his third of the series - off of Chris Young in the eighth.
Hosmer did have his first multi-hit game of the year, both otherwise meaningless singles. So there’s that. Those, plus a walk to Escobar, along with the previously described Moustakas and Bonifacio hits account for the entirety of the Royals’ offense. Yu Darvish lived up to his billing with an eight inning performance striking out eight.
The Royals have now lost four straight games on the season to fall four games below .500 and now occupy last place in the central division all by themselves. They have also lost ten straight games against the Rangers dating back to last year. Tomorrow they will start a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox. Royals “ace” Jason Vargas (3-0 0.44) will face Miguel Gonzalez (2-0 2.84). The White Sox have been having their own struggles so far this season on offense, so look for yet another low-scoring game.