Another frustrating game from all three areas of the game as the Royals fall to the Tigers.
Brad Keller started the game planting a fastball in the middle of Tigers’ leadoff hitter, Robbie Grossman’s back. After a Harold Castro ground ball single, Keller got Jonathon Schoop to roll over to Kelvin Gutierrez at third for what should have been an easy double play. Instead, Gutierrez dropped to a knee, lifted up his glove too early and the ball rolled right through his legs. Three singles later and the Tigers were up four runs before the Royals even got a chance to hit.
Unfortunately, the theme for the Royals offensively tonight was the lack of hitting with runners on base, but more importantly runners in scoring position (RISP). They had traffic on the bases all night long but sadly could not get that big hit scoring multiple runs and help them dig out of the hole that their pitching and fielding put them in the top of the first.
In the first and second innings, Tiger’s pitcher Matthew Boyd escaped trouble with getting ground ball outs. In the third inning, trouble found the left hander again when he allowed back-to-back hits from Whit Merrifield and Carlos Santana. Boyd then left the ballgame with left arm discomfort; calling on Joe Jimenez to get him out of trouble. Jimenez did the job by getting Salvy to strike out and Soler to pop out.
Keller seemed to find his stride until an infield hit by Baddoo which was then quickly followed by a Willi Castro two-run home run in the fourth inning extending their lead to 6-0.
The Royals did get on the board in the bottom half of the fourth thanks to an infield single of their own by recently called up Edward Olivares. Hanser Alberto then drove a double down the left field line scoring Olivares.
Keller gave that run right back in the top of the fifth with back-to-back hits from Miguel Cabrera and Eric Haase. Nomar Mazara got the RBI this time, scoring Cabrera on a sac fly to right field.
Just as the unfortunate theme of the night for the Royals was lack of clutch hits, the theme for the Tigers was their use of multiple pitchers; two of which left with injury. Boyd in the third, and Lee Summit West alum Alex Lange exited with right shoulder discomfort in the fifth after allowing one run to score on a Salvy RBI single scoring Merrifield. The Tigers tied a franchise record using 9 pitchers on the night.
Though there were Royals on base all night, the sixth inning really felt like their big chance to cut down the lead. Michael A. Taylor led the inning off with a single. Whit followed that with an infield double; yes you read that right. After a Santana strikeout, a rare back-to-back walks from Salvy and Soler. Dozier concluded the inning where only Taylor scored on the Soler walk, with a pop out. Through six innings, the Royals had already stranded 11 base runners.
A couple of home runs late by Goodrum and Grossman as well as a Cabrera RBI single added to the Tigers lead where it finished up at 10-3 loss for the Royals.
It is hard to find positives in games that were as frustrating, however the offense did collect 14 hits on the night. Highlighted by Soler and Merrifield going 3-4 and one walk, Santana and Gutierrez both collected a couple hits themselves. Dozier was the only Royal who did not have a base hit on the night.
This puts the Royals at a season low 5 games under .500 and a four game losing streak.
These two familiar foes will be back at it tomorrow night. The Royals will send Mike Minor to the mound in hopes to snap yet another losing streak.