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Royals squander many chances, lose to A’s, 4-3

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That was maddening.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Oakland Athletics Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

You’re not even going to believe this, but the Royals played a weird baseball game tonight. And it ended with a loss.

That was frustrating. Time to unpack.

The first three innings flew by. Brady Singer and Cole Irvin matched each other with scoreless innings. The A’s then got Singer for three runs in the fourth, with three straight extra-base hits providing for another instance of Singer struggling to stop the freight train when it gets rolling. He ultimately recovered well to pitch two scoreless innings after that, completing a quality start. Singer exited the game after six innings of three-run ball, allowing five hits and striking out seven.

Kansas City trailed 3-0 when Singer departed after six. The Royals began their comeback with Salvador Perez, who smashed a solo homer to left to open the seventh. This set up a bit of a rally when Andrew Benintendi and Jorge Soler (miraculously) singled, knocking Irvin out of the game and putting the tying runs on base. Only one would score, and it was on a throwing error, but hey, 3-2.

Perez tied the game with another solo homer in the eighth inning, just sneaking a towering home run over the left-field wall. Benintendi walked, Soler got back to normal with a hideous strikeout, and Hunter Dozier blooped a single into center field with two outs and Benintendi running. A late green light by the third base coach and a slight hesitation by Benintendi resulted in a bang-bang play at the plate, with the call being out and the replay upholding the call.

This was the wrong call. He was safe. There were a couple of different replays that, when synced up to show where the glove was on one and Benintendi’s hand was on another, show he was safe. The Royals got the shaft from New York.

My theory is that Benintendi is so used to an out taking place when Hunter Dozier bats that he just wanted to keep things in the norm.

Jake Brentz and Scott Barlow both did a tremendous job keeping the score tied by pitching scoreless seventh and eighth innings. Barlow, who continues to be one of baseball’s most underrated players, did this swaggy hop off the mound when he struck out the final batter he faced. It was nifty.

They had a man on second with nobody out before striking out over and over again in the top of the ninth. The state of the offense is so bad that I was longing for Nicky Lopez to pinch-hit.

The A’s won the game on a walk-off hit by Elvis Andrus after Scott Barlow gave up a one-out double to put the winning run in scoring position. I thought things would be ok because I’m used to seeing the Hanser Albertos and Michael A Taylors of the world at the bottom of batting lineups. The A’s, unfortunately, have better hitters than the Royals.

The record is 30-32.

Tomorrow: it’s afternoon baseball, with Jackson Kowar getting his second start at the big-league level. Opposing him will be James Kaprielian. First pitch is at 3:07 pm Kansas City time.