It has been a common problem for past Royals’ teams to start slow, both offensively and with early season losing streaks.
It’s still early, but Kansas City has been held under four runs in four of its first six games and are now in the midst of a four-game losing streak after a 4-2 loss to the Tigers Thursday night.
The four-game skid comes on the heals of the Royals winning the first two games of the season in somewhat thrilling fashion.
The Royals threatened in the first inning with a Bobby Witt Jr. triple with one out but stranded him. Detroit took advantage by loading the bases with nobody out in the 2nd, scoring two runs on a Spencer Torkelson HBP and a Harold Castro sac fly.
Despite the runs, Zack Greinke did moderately well to escape further trouble. Kansas City threatened again in the 2nd but weren’t able to take advantage.
They were able to break through in the 4th, after a Hunter Dozier triple, a rare Adalberto Mondesi walk, and a less rare Mondesi stolen base out runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. Singles from Michael A. Taylor and Whit Merrifield tied the game at 2-2, but Witt Jr. stranded runners on 2nd and 3rd by striking out looking.
Both starters mirrored each other in effectiveness. Casey Mize went 5.0 IP, giving up six hits and two runs while Greinke went one out longer, giving up two runs on five hits in 5.1 IP.
After the Royals rally in the 4th, the offense struggled to get anything going. Tigers’ pitchers retired 13 of the next 14 Royals after they scored their only runs of the night.
The Kansas City bullpen, however, labored. They nearly gave up the lead in the 6th when Miguel Cabrera singled to right off of Collin Snider but Merrifield threw Austin Meadows out at the plate.
Jake Brentz wasn’t so lucky in the 7th. After a one-our walk, Brentz gave up three consecutive singles, putting the Tigers up 4-2, which proved to be the final.
The Royals got a base runner in the 9th via Michael A. Taylor’s one-out walk to bring the tying run to the plate. But a Edward Olivares strikeout and a Merrifield fly out ended the loss for Kansas City.
Up Next: Royals v. Tigers, Friday, April 15, 7:10 PM CDT, Kauffman Stadium; RHP Brad Keller (0-0, 0.00 ERA) v. (0-1, 9.00 ERA)