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Royals fall to Cleveland 5-4 for fourth-straight loss

Oh, Angel.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals blew their third-straight game to Cleveland on Wednesday night, 5-4, as the Indians erased a four-run deficit in the latter innings.

Heading into the night, Kansas City was playing some pretty bad baseball. Over their last five games, the Royals had lost four of them and allowed 40 runs during that span. Things didn’t get any easier for them on Wednesday with Shane Bieber toeing the slab for Cleveland. However, the Royals came out swinging against the dominant right-hander.

In the top of the first, Whit Merrifield led off the game with a single and moved to second on an error. He managed to get to third with one out, but Bieber struck out Carlos Santana and Salvador Perez to end the threat.

In the other dugout, however, was Brady Singer. Despite going toe-to-toe with a Cy Young winner, the 24-year-old didn’t cower in the spotlight. He cruised through the first two innings without allowing a baserunner. In the bottom of the second, the offense finally gave him run support. Hunter Dozier, who was hitting .500 in his previous three games, demolished a 2-0 pitch from Bieber 430 feet from home plate.

While Singer continued to roll through the Indians’ order, Bieber had trouble putting away the Royals’ hitters. In the bottom of the fourth with a runner on third and two outs, Nicky Lopez poked a soft grounder to shortstop Andrés Giménez. However, he short-armed the throw and it skipped by Jake Bauers at first — resulting in a 2-0 lead for Kansas City.

Kansas City finally had Bieber on the ropes in the bottom of the fifth. With runners at first and second, Jorge Soler punished a two-strike slider to the wall in left-center field — scoring both runs. For a moment, it all seemed like Kansas City was going to have a game go its way. Well, that’s exactly when things got weird.

As Singer was pitching to José Ramírez with one out in the sixth, a fastball came rushing in and appeared to clip him. Home plate umpire Angel Hernandez awarded Ramírez first base, but the Royals either believed that it didn’t hit him or the ball hit the bat. You make the call yourself.

Upon review, the call wasn’t overturned and Ramírez marched down to first. On the next at-bat, Eddie Rosario smoked an opposite field double to cut the lead down to 4-2. As the boos grew louder and louder for Hernandez, one play would turn things explosive. With runners at first and second, Singer attempted to pick-off Rosario at second base. However, Hernandez called Singer for a balk. Though there was a slight twitch from Singer prior to stepping off, the anger from the previous replay boiled over. When the balk was called, Mike Matheny came running out of the dugout to confront Hernandez. While Matheny argued with Hernandez, pitching coach Cal Eldred was screaming from the dugout. Moments later, Hernandez ejected Eldred, which set off the fireworks. Before it was all said and done, Eldred, Matheny, and Singer were ejected. When he was pulled with two outs, Singer came unglued with Hernandez and gave him an earful.

After the smoke cleared, the Royals maintained a slim 4-3 lead. Scott Barlow worked 1 13 scoreless and handed the ball off to Jakob Junis for the bottom of the eighth. Junis, who surrendered five runs on Monday night, hoped to turn things around on Wednesday. Unfortunately, Ramírez greeted him with a solo shot into the bullpen in right field to tie the game. One inning later, Josh Naylor belted a go-ahead home run off Wade Davis to give Cleveland a 5-4 lead. In the bottom of the ninth, Kansas City couldn’t scratch across a run off James Karinchak.

The Royals, 16-13, will finish their four-game series with the Indians tomorrow at 1:10 p.m. Danny Duffy will square off with Triston McKenzie.