For the second straight Sunday the Royals faced the Cleveland baseball team with an opportunity to sweep what has long been a thorn in their foot.
For the second straight Sunday the Cleveland baseball team laid a smack down on the Royals, this time they did it complete with a shutout.
Today’s starter, Eric Skoglund, came into today with a career 0.00 ERA. He did not end the day the same way. In the second inning he started to fight his control a bit and that resulted in him throwing more than 30 pitches and walking a pair. Those plus a single gave Roberto Perez and and Daniel Robertson opportunities to each collect 2-RBI doubles, which they did not fail to seize. The only thing that allowed Skoglund to escape the inning was a head’s up defensive play to snag Robertson as he tried to go to third during his double.
Unfortunately - or perhaps fortunately - for him he never got another opportunity to improve his line on the day. The rain started pouring in the bottom of the inning and forced a nearly-2-hour rain delay, knocking both starters from the game. The Royals were threatening Trevor Bauer before the rain, but he whined a bit about how wet the ball was and the home plate umpire gave in and called for the tarp. When the teams retook the field Dan Otero retired Drew Butera by using a single pitch to induce a pop out.
Travis Wood took the mound for the Royals in the third inning and initially flashed a very good curveball and looked much better. However, in the fourth inning he walked a pair more and gave up two more runs.
Seth Maness was then called upon to limit the damage and escaped the inning successfully. He then walked one of his own in the fifth inning and appeared to get an inning ending double play from Austin Jackson before Whit Merrifield threw the ball well wide of Eric Hosmer to allow Cleveland to score another run off of a walk.
Chris Young got to pitch the sixth inning. His run wasn’t by way of walk; it was predictably a home run from Jason Kipnis.
By the seventh inning Ned Yost gave in to the inevitable and substituted out his regulars, even sacrificing his designated hitter by putting Brandon Moss at first base.
Good things: Kevin McCarthy had a scoreless outing. Whit did extend his hitting streak to an MLB best 19 games. The White Sox lost again, which means the Royals are still tied for fourth place in the division.
Tomorrow starts a 4-game series against the best team in the AL, the Houston Astros.