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Poor pitching and defense dooms Royals in 10-4 loss to Texas

“This is a simple game. You throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball.”

Texas Rangers v Kansas City Royals Photo by Reed Hoffmann/Getty Images

The Royals lost to the Texas Rangers 10-4 on Monday night. If it were to be summed up in a few sentences, this recap would be rather short. Simply put, the Rangers pitched and fielded better than Kansas City.

It wasn’t all ugliness on Monday, though. The Royals’ lineup broke through off Martín Pérez, who had the league’s fourth-best ERA (1.96), in the bottom of the first. Following back-to-back singles from Whit Merrifield and Andrew Benintendi, Bobby Witt Jr. tallied the game’s first run on a fielder’s choice. Unfortunately, the game nearly spiraled out of control in the top of the second.

Kris Bubic, who was coming off his best start of the season in Anaheim, struggled to throw strikes. In that dreadful second inning, Bubic allowed four runs on three hits, walked two and spiked a wild pitch. However, the defense didn’t provide much help. Witt Jr and Emmanuel Rivera committed errors, though Rivera’s was overturned an inning later.

Fortunately, the Royals’ bats didn’t cool after the first. It took just the bottom of the second for Kansas City to tie things back up at 4-4. With two outs, Merrifield roped a double into the gap in right-center to score two and Benintendi singled to left to tie it up. The top of third was also headlined by the incredible range and arm strength of Witt Jr in the field.

In the top of the fourth, the Rangers reclaimed the lead on more shoddy defense from the Royals. Bubic opened the frame by fielding a bunt single and throwing it wildly down the right field line for Kansas City’s second error. A few batters later, that runner came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Marcus Semien. In the ensuing inning. former Twin Mitch Garver belted a two-run shot over the bullpen in left field to give Texas a 7-4 advantage.

Matt Peacock relieved Bubic in the fifth, but didn’t provide much stability. The Rangers added three more runs in the sixth on an RBI-double from Adolis Garcia and RBI-single from Kole Calhoun.

The lone bright spot from the Royals’ pitching staff came from Jackson Kowar, who was recently re-called from Omaha. He managed to toss 3 13 scoreless innings with five strikeouts and three walks. His fastball ran up to 98 mph and his change-up/slider had tremendous movement.

The Royals, 26-46, look to even up the series tomorrow night. More importantly, it’s expected to be the wildly anticipated debut of Vinnie Pasquantino. Jon Heasley will duel with Jon Gray. First pitch is slated for 7:10 p.m. CT.