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Bullpen crumbles, Royals lose sixth straight

“I never say it can’t get worse,” — Buddy Bell

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals’ losing streak continued on Wednesday afternoon, as the bullpen coughed up a late lead — resulting in a 6-5 loss to the Tigers. It’s the second time Detroit has swept Kansas City before the All-Star break.

Despite its loss last night, Kansas City received excellent news before Tuesday’s game that Adalberto Mondesi had been reinstated from the injured list. On Wednesday, he made his first start since June 1st. In the bottom of second, Mondesi made up for lost time by crushing a 1-2 pitch into the fountains in left-center field. The ball traveled an estimated 445 feet at 107.7 mph.

On the mound for the Royals was Brady Singer, who was making his 14th start of the season. After a painless first inning, Singer ran into some trouble in the top half of the second. Following a lead-off single and a double, the right-hander faced a difficult situation with no outs. However, he recorded the next three outs without allowing a run to cross home.

In the top of the third, Detroit tied things up on a two-out, RBI-single from Jeimer Candelario. Unfortunately for the Royals, Singer wouldn’t work any further after recording the final out of the third. The righty was pulled from the game as a precaution with right posterior shoulder tightness.

With six more innings to go, Kansas City needed to provide its bullpen with plenty of run support. Well, it didn’t take the offense long as Salvador Perez ripped a two-run shot into the bullpen in left field to give the Royals a 3-1 lead. Holding a slim lead, Mike Matheny handed the ball to 24-year-old Carlos Hernandez to save the bullpen.

Though he entered the game with an 8.00 ERA, Hernandez shoved — holding the Tigers scoreless over three innings with four strikeouts.

For the most part, things seemed to be trending upward. The Royals had pitched well, Mondesi homered and made some dazzling plays on defense, and Hernandez shined. However, when you’re dealing with a losing streak, it never comes easy.

In the top of the seventh, Greg Holland entered the game with the task of preserving a two-run lead. That task, however, was failed. Before Holland picked up an out, Detroit tied the game on a two-run home run by Willi Castro. Scott Barlow relieved Holland with the hopes of keeping the game tied, but a wild pitch brought home the go-ahead run for the Tigers.

Needing to come from behind late for the sixth-consecutive game, Kansas City had a prime opportunity to come through in the bottom of the seventh. Cam Gallagher reached on an error and Whit Merrifield singled to open the inning. Carlos Santana grounded out to make first and third with one out, but Perez grounded into a double play to end the threat. To make matters worse, Jake Brentz allowed another run on a wild pitch in the eighth and Josh Staumont was tagged for another in the ninth.

In the bottom of the ninth, things got interesting. With two outs, Merrifield doubled home a run and Santana singled to make it 6-5, but it wasn’t enough.

Kansas City, 30-37, welcomes the 41-27 Boston Red Sox for a weekend series that starts on Friday. Jackson Kowar gets the ball for Game 1. First pitch is slated for 7:10 p.m.