On the heels of five-straight losses, the Royals returned home for a two-game series with the Cubs. Despite a quality start from 22-year-old Kris Bubic, Kansas City’s offense sputtered in a 6-1 loss.
Bubic was dealing through the first three innings. The left-hander retired the first nine hitters and punched out four of them. One of his strikeouts came on a 97-mph fastball to Javier Baez.
The Royals struck first in the bottom of the third inning. After Maikel Franco opened the frame with a double, Nicky Lopez moved him to third on a single to right field. Whit Merrifield drove Franco home on the ensuing at-bat with a double play ball.
Bubic ran into some trouble in the top of the fourth. Kris Bryant led-off the inning with a grounder through the shifted infield and two batters later, Baez placed a pop-up just inside the right field line to score Bryant from second. Chicago took the lead on a double play before the inning concluded.
Bubic finished his night logging six innings with six strikeouts and allowed just two runs on four hits.
Trailing 2-1, the Royals’ offense remained quiet. It wasn’t until the bottom of the sixth that Kansas City began threatening. Merrifield started things with an infield single and moved to second on a wild pitch. With one out and Merrifield at third, Ryan O’Hearn struck out on three pitches and Salvador Perez grounded out to end the inning.
Kansas City let the game slip away in the top of the eighth. With two outs and nobody on, Franco threw one in the dirt that O’Hearn couldn’t dig out. Chicago followed up with three consecutive hits to jump out in front 4-1. The Cubs tacked on two more in the top of the ninth to extend their to 6-1.
The loss pushes the Royals’ losing streak to six and moves their overall record to 3-10. Brad Keller will make his first start of the season tomorrow against Tyler Chatwood. First pitch is at 6:07 p.m. CDT.