It was another disappointing Sunday for the Royals, who have now not won on a Sunday in six weeks. A three-run sixth inning to briefly take the lead was not enough, as the A’s came back on Brady Singer and beat the Royals, 5-3.
Singer overall pitched pretty well. He gave up five runs in a career-high 8.1 innings, striking out five and walking just one, but his offense handed him a 3-2 lead after six innings and he gave it up in less than five minutes. The last of his runs was allowed by Scott Barlow in the ninth after he put someone on base earlier in the inning. It’s the sort of game where I’m glad they let him stay in and work through a handful of different scenarios, even though every one didn’t work out. He’s developing into a quality big league pitcher. It’s good to see him figuring out ways to work deeper into games.
The Royals’ offense was lifeless for five innings before coming through in the sixth. Nicky Lopez led off with a triple, Andrew Benintendi worked a walk, and Bobby Witt Jr. followed with one of his own. With the bases loaded and one out, M.J. Melendez narrowly missed a grand-slam with a deep fly ball to right, but he wound up striking out. It was none other than Carlos Santana who came through with a two-out, two-run single, and then Edward Olivares pinch-hit and gave Kansas City the lead with an RBI hit of his own.
With a 3-2 lead, Singer quickly got the first two men he faced in the seventh out, but he then allowed three straight hits to put his team right back behind. The big hit was put forth by Oakland’s Nick Allen, a No. 9 hitter that entered hitting just .206. Michael A. Taylor, who Rex Hudler dubbed as “special” earlier in the game, didn’t put forth maximum effort. I think he should have laid out in attempt to catch the ball. He didn’t, and the ball dropped. I’m not saying that it was an easy play, because it wasn’t. It was one that I didn’t think he gave a full effort for.
There weren’t any offensive highlights for the rest of the game. Melendez did come to bat with a chance to tie things in the eighth, with Bobby Witt Jr. on second base, but he struck out. In the ninth, they had 2nd-and-3rd with one out but couldn’t get anything done.
Mike Matheny started Ryan O’Hearn at designated hitter, which was hilarious. Somebody should tell him you’re supposed to put good players at DH. Edward Olivares has 27% of O’Hearn’s season hit total in the last 48 hours. Let’s not overthink that one when we’re trying to choose a DH next time, ok Mike?
Notes: Bobby Witt Jr. worked three walks. Carlos Santana continues to hit well in June; he almost hit a homer in the ninth when he smacked a double off the wall. Whit Merrifield looks old and slow. Andrew Benintendi needs to be traded before he gets hurt.
The Royals are 26-45. They had just six hits today. They’ve still won seven of their last 11, but losing a series at home to the worst team in the American League isn’t exactly the best look. Of course, it’s not like anyone in this organization is held accountable for a lack of winning, so they’re probably not feeling too bad as of this moment.
Up next: Texas comes into town for three games starting tomorrow. Kris Bubic pitches, and he seems like he’s due for one of his 6-runs-in-2-innings specials. Hold onto your butts.