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Gallen gashes good guys, Diamondbacks depose despots 2-0

This lineup never had a chance

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Arizona Diamondbacks Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City got solid performances on the mound but didn’t have a prayer offensively against Zac Gallen as the Diamondbacks starter stretched his scoreless streak to 27 innings in a 2-0 Arizona victory.

The game remained scoreless for the first hour or so. The Royals got consecutive line drive singles from Vinnie Pasquantino and MJ Melendez in the first but couldn’t make anything of them. Ketel Marte was plunked to lead off Arizona’s first inning and was stranded there. Corbin Carroll singled in the second but was gunned down by Freddy Fermin on a stolen base attempt. Jackie Bradley Jr. led off the third with a single and never made it past first base.

Arizona broke through in the fourth. Emmanuel Rivera and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit consecutive groundball singles to start the inning. Yarbrough nearly got out of it when he coaxed a double play out of Christian Walker and then got ahead of Evan Longoria 0-2. But Longoria got a cutter in and managed to get his hands in just enough to flare it out to left, snapping his bat in the process and scoring Rivera from third. Yarbrough then walked Carroll and, after a long battle with Nick Ahmed, got a popup to end the frame.

The Royals responded in the next inning with three strikeouts. That gave Gallen six consecutive strikeouts. On the bright side, Freddy Fermin and Nicky Lopez battled enough to drive up his pitch count a bit. Small victories. The Diamondbacks small-balled their way to another run in the bottom of the fifth with a walk, a sac bunt, and a liner up the middle to make it 2-0. In the top of the sixth, Bobby Witt Jr. flew out to lead off the ending, ending Gallen’s strikeout streak. He immediately started another by punching out Pasquantino and Melendez. This gave Gallen a strikeout against every hitter in the Royals lineup today.

The bullpen managed to keep Kansas City in the game. Joshes Staumont and Taylor and Jose Cuas combined for three scoreless innings, allowing only two baserunners while striking out five.

The offense had a shot to come back against Andrew Chafin in the ninth. Melendez walked to lead off the inning and Edward Olivares punched a grounder that got under Ahmed’s glove, putting the tying run on base with nobody out. Matt Duffy pinch-hit for Michael Massey and worked the count full before harmlessly flying out to right. Franmil Reyes came out to hit for Kyle Isbel and hacked at the first pitch, sending it out to center for an easy out. Representing Kansas City’s last shot, Fermin punched out to end the ballgame.

Some nuggets:

  • This is the 12th game this season in which the Royals have struck out at least ten times. The 2022 team didn’t have their 12th such game until June 22. The 2015 team only had 16 such games all season.
  • The Royals had two runners on with nobody out in both the first and ninth innings and failed to score in either. These were the only innings in which the Royals had more than one baserunner.
  • If you like power hitting, this was not the game for you. Neither team recorded an extra-base hit and both teams combined for only six batted balls over 100 mph.

The loss drops Kansas City to 6-19, which is surprisingly just one game back of the Chicago White Sox in the division. The Royals will travel to Minneapolis to face the Twins for the second time this season starting tomorrow evening.

Ryan Yarbrough: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Zac Gallen: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 K, 0 HR

MJ Melendez: 1-3, BB

Emmanuel Rivera: 2-3, R, RBI