Royals bats remained cold in a 4-2 loss to the Tigers Wednesday that stretched their losing streak to ten. The Royals managed just three hits and managed to score less than four runs for the fifth time in six games.
Early on, it looked like it might be a good night for the offense. Casey Mize hit Whit Merrifeld to start the game (he would get hit again in the eighth, what do you Tigers pitchers have against Whit???) Carlos Santana walked to push him to second, and Salvador Pérez doubled Whit home. Andrew Benintendi lofted a fly ball to score Santana to make it 2-0 Royals.
But that would be it for the Royals offense. Mize, the former first overall pick, retired 14 of the next 17 hitters he faced, allowing only one runner to reach second base after the first inning. The Royals couldn’t even manage a hit in three innings against the Tigers bullpen, the worst in baseball. Hunter Dozier continued his slump, stretching his hitless streak to 0-for-26.
Danny Duffy put in a solid effort, with four runs allowed in six innings with two walks and eight strikeouts, the third time Duffy has whiffed that many in a game this season. The Tigers touched him up for a run in the second on a Jacoby Jones single, and again in the third on a Miguel Cabrera single, a hit that gave him the most hits ever by a Venezuelan-born baseball player.
He ran into trouble in the fifth when Jorge Soler made an awkward slide on a Robbie Grossman line drive to play it into a triple. Jeimer Candelario burned Jarrod Dyson with a deep fly ball for an RBI double, and Miguel Cabrera singled him home to make it 4-2 Tigers. Even crazier, Cabrera stole a base! Off Salvy! How does that happen???
This is the 12th losing streak of ten games or more in club history, the last coming in July of 2019. The Royals will now have to try to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Tigers tomorrow afternoon with Daniel Lynch taking on Spencer Turnbull. It seems weird to say about a team just a few games under .500 in May, but the Royals season seems to be slipping away.