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Game LXXX: Royals at Red Sox

Happy Bobby Bonilla Day!

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Texas Rangers Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The good news: It’s July.

The bad news: The Royals went 7-20 in June. And three of those seven wins came within the first four days of the season.

The two crippling stretches of season that have doomed the Royals – first an 11-game losing streak, then later losing 20 of 24 games – have been eerily similar.

They both began when the Royals were winning a lot. The 11-game streak followed a 16-9 start, while the 2nd stretch began after Kansas City had won 13 of their last 16. Both stretches were also immediately preceded by blowout wins over Minnesota. Their last win before the 11-game streak was an 11-3 bludgeoning of the Twins, while the win that capped off that 13-of-19 stretch came in the form of a 14-5 beat down over those same Twins.

This time, though, it feels like the wheels are irretrievably off. After Kansas City lost their 11th consecutive game, they were still just four games under .500. After this eight-game streak and its 20th loss in 24 tries, they sit at 13 games under .500. And it has happened in an agonizing fashion.

They blew a series win against the Yankees in the 9th inning after a thrilling comeback before getting throttled three times in Texas. Then, they blew two more leads against Boston this week.

Kansas City will look to avoid a second consecutive sweep in today’s matinee by sending a struggling Kris Bubic to the mound. After a fiery start to the season, he has struggled mightily in June to the tune of a 9.16 ERA. Opposing batters have posted a 1.112 OPS against him during that span.

He will be faced by Nathan Eovaldi, who got roughed up a bit by Kansas City last Sunday, giving up three runs in just 4.0 innings. He is, however, coming off arguably his best start of the season, pitching into the 8th inning against the Yankees and giving up just one run.

Here’s what the lineups look like for this afternoon’s game as the Royals look to end the road trip with their second (2) win: