Just like it was last year, the Astros’ power was just too much to overcome.
The Royals led throughout the evening but couldn’t avoid giving up the big hit, and in the end, that’s what made the difference in Friday night’s 7-3 loss to Houston.
Mike Moustakas hit a two-run double in the third before Junis gave up two home runs to knot it up 2-2. In the fifth, Moustakas drew a bases-loaded walk to give Kansas City its lead back at 3-2. But with only one out and the bases still juiced, Salvador Perez hit into a double play to squander the scoring chance, and you knew that Houston was going to punish the Royals. It didn’t take them long.
Jake Junis, who has become quite prone to giving up home runs, picked a bad time to give up the worst kind of home run in the sixth. Evan Gattis bashed a grand slam to center field, turning a 3-2 lead into a 6-3 deficit. At that point, all of the air was let out of Kauffman Stadium. Ned Yost decided that’d be a good time to pull Junis, after all of the possible damage already had occurred, because he is Ned Yost.
Like for real, if you’re willing to leave a guy on the ropes in a bases-loaded situation, why not leave him in after he gives up the grand slam? It’s not like there are any more runners on base or anything.
And Jorge Soler broke his foot. He fractures his foot on a bad swing follow-through... but nothing can stop Alcides freaking Escobar and his absolute trash .260 OBP from playing every day. Outcedies Outscobar is now 2 for his last 33 but has played 402 games in a row. He shouldn’t even be on an MLB roster, much less be an everyday player.
Paulo Orlando or Abraham Almonte, one of them, appeared destined to be terminated when Jorge Bonifacio comes back from suspension in a few days. Now, thanks to the Soler injury, they both will probably keep their roster spots. This is good news if you want the Royals to get the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft.
Junis: 5.1 innings, seven hits, six runs, and three strikeouts. The line looked a heck of a lot better before giving up a grand slam.
At 22-47, the Royals are 25 games under .500 for the first time since September 11, 2011. Welcome back to rock bottom.
The Astros are really good. They were always going to win two or three games in this series. But the demise of the Royals happened so fast that I’m still processing how a team with four or five legitimately good players can be this bad. They are 50 shades of putrid. And if you’re going to be this bad, fine, but stop playing 31-year-old Alcides Escobar and 32-year-old Paulo Orlando and soon-to-be-29-year-old Abraham Almonte every night. Embrace the suck and bring up the young guns.
And most importantly, get Alcides Escobar off my team forever.
Tomorrow: Danny Duffy and Dallas Keuchel duel in a battle of left-handed starters. First pitch is at 1:15 pm. Get there early to get a 50th season anniversary Royals cap, because this season is definitely one you’ll want to remember.