Despite teeing off on Arizona starter Zach Davies in the first inning, the Royals’ pitching staff couldn’t maintain a four-run lead and dropped Game 1 to the Diamondbacks, 9-5. It marked Kansas City’s fifth consecutive loss.
In the top of the first, the Royals took out their anger from Sunday’s loss on Davies. After just four batters, Kansas City led 3-0 on three solo shots from Whit Merrifield, Bobby Witt Jr and Hunter Dozier. Kyle Isbel drove in the fourth run of the inning on a fielder’s choice.
Hot start in the desert.#TogetherRoyal pic.twitter.com/Nb8D15wogj— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) May 24, 2022
Unfortunately, Zack Greinke didn’t have his best outing with the rare run support. In the home half of the first, he was roughed up for three runs on two long balls.
With a 4-3 lead, Kansas City manufactured its fifth run on the heroic efforts of Merrifield. Following his lead-off single, Merrifield was able to score on a handful of miscues by the Diamondbacks.
Whit just felt like running.@WhitMerrifield // #TogetherRoyal pic.twitter.com/n3E1iUjfEN— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) May 24, 2022
Back on the mound, Greinke couldn’t re-discover his touch. Arizona tied the game at five in the third inning and took the lead, 7-5, in the bottom of the fourth. In all, Greinke worked just 3 2⁄3 innings and allowed seven earned runs on five hits with four walks. Joel Payamps saved the day by working 2 1⁄3 scoreless, which lowered his ERA to 1.31, but the Royals’ offense fell silent.
The Diamondbacks tacked on two more runs in the seventh inning off Colin Snider — extending their lead to 9-5.
Kansas City’s final chance to cash in came in the top of the eighth. After loading the bases with two outs, MJ Melendez strolled to the plate — representing the tying run. However, Melendez flied out to center field on a hanging slider.
The Royals, 14-27, wrap up their two-game series tomorrow in Phoenix before heading off to Minnesota for a weekend series. Jon Heasley will square off with Zac Gallen. First pitch is set for 8:40 p.m. CT.