It was a trend early in the season, and it reared its ugly head on a Wednesday night in June. The Royals were betrayed by their bullpen, falling 2-1 to the Detroit Tigers to knot up a three-game series.
Danny Duffy looked like he was going to have a disastrous evening when he opened his night with back-to-back walks. He gave up a run in the first and another in the fourth, but other than that, he put forth a really good performance. He pitched seven innings, allowing just four hits and striking out seven batters. He needed 99 pitches.
The Royals scored two runs, both of which were driven in by Jorge Soler. He hit a deep double in the third that narrowly missed exiting the ballpark. He also hit an RBI single in the fifth.
Jake Diekman came in to pitch the eighth inning of a 2-2 game, and everything unraveled when he loaded the bases with none out. He managed to strikeout Miguel Cabrera, but a tie-breaking sacrifice fly was hit by Brandon Dixon. He did a nice job limiting the damage to just one run after getting into the mess, but it still wound up being the game-deciding run.
A huge reason the Royals lost this game was because of squandered chances with men in scoring position. They left 10 on base throughout the game. It seemed like every inning ended with a groundout that stranded two people on base.
The Royals are 21-46. They still haven’t won a series since April 16. If they can win the rubber match tomorrow, that streak will end.