An hour ago, I was planning on typing “there isn’t much to recap here.” Now... well, there is. But the end result was exactly the same.
That is one heck of a way to lose a baseball game. The Royals, originally down 7-0, made a big comeback to pull even with the Tigers. Then they lost in the bottom half of the same inning.
Brady Singer started well, throwing three scoreless innings to start his night. But things unraveled in the fourth and he was yanked before he could finish the frame. A plethora of weak Tigers hits doomed his night, as six of the first seven Tigers to bat in the fourth reached base.
By scoring four runs, the Tigers scored as many runs as the Royals had scored... since Thursday. Considering how the last week-plus has gone, this game was absolutely over. Matthew Boyd dealt six shutout innings, the Tigers took a 7-0 lead into the eighth inning, and I had already drafted the “what an uninteresting game” entire story.
Then the comeback started.
Jorge Soler, moved up to the cleanup spot in the batting order with the team confident an end to his rough start was near, smashed a three-run homer to center field. It was just the third homer of the year for Soler, who was expected to be a much bigger part of the offense than he’s been. That cut the deficit to 7-3.
In the ninth, still down by four runs, Hanser Alberto doubled. Michael A. Taylor struck out. Nicky Lopez singled. Ryan O’Hearn singled in Alberto, making it 7-4. Following a strikeout for the second out, the Royals caught a break when Sebastian Rivero, inserted into the game for Salvador Perez because of the blowout, hit what should have been a game-ending ground ball to short, but Detroit botched the throw, loading the bases.
Then Soler, fresh off his three-run bomb, hammered a 415-foot double to center, bouncing out of the center fielder’s glove. All three runs scored. Soler set a new career high with 6 RBI. Tie game, 7-7.
Hunter Dozier had a chance to give the Royals a lead, but he struck out, dropping his slide to 0-for-his-last-22. The entire team exploded and Dozier still can’t hit the stupid ball. His average is .151.
Scott Barlow needed four batters to blow the lead and lose the game in the home half of the ninth. He hit the leadoff man, walked another, and then gave up a game-losing single. It was Niko Goodrum, the shortstop who committed the error in the top of the ninth, that ended the game with an RBI single.
Ervin Santana deserves a ton of credit for getting the Royals to the ninth inning without giving up any additional damage. Singer melted down, Tyler Zuber couldn’t stop the bleeding, and Jake Brentz gave up a run. Santana was the only stable pitcher for the Royals, who handled three shutout frames to give the offense a chance to get back into it. In a bullpen filled with disasters this year, Santana has actually been really nice.
Singer’s line: 3.1 innings, seven hits, four runs, four strikeouts. He was let off the hook for the loss, but his ERA still swelled over 4.00. He’ll look to bounce back next time.
This is the fourth time in the last five seasons that the Royals have had an eight-game losing streak. It’s happened in the first half of the season in each of those four years. And in three of those occasions, it occurred before the season turned 40 games old.
The Royals are the best team in the history of sports of bottom out before fans have the chance to get super excited about their team. Granted, this year was different, as they were the best team in baseball on May 1... and now find themselves two games under .500 just 10 days later.
The record is 16-18. They’ll try to end the losing streak tomorrow, I guess.