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Rodriguez, Riley romp; Ryan, Royals recede 3-2

What is there to say at this point?

Detroit Tigers v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

On a wet night in Kansas City, the offense failed to build on last night’s results and the pitching couldn’t do quite enough as the Tigers beat the Royals 3-2.

Ryan Yarbrough gave up a ton of hard contact but mostly managed to keep Kansas City in the game. He surrendered a nuke to Javy Báez in the second that put Detroit on the board but otherwise managed to keep them quiet for five innings. In the bottom of that fifth inning, the Royals managed to take a lead. After a Salvador Perez groundout, Matt Duffy singled and Michael Massey smoked a double into the right field corner to score Duffy. Drew Waters then grounded out, but Kyle Isbel lined one into the left-center gap to give Kansas City a 2-1 lead. Isbel turned what looked like a single off the bat into a double with some hard baserunning.

That lead proved to be short-lived. There’s a reason why Tampa often didn’t let Yarbrough face the order a third time. Riley Greene lead off the sixth with a screamer of a double and was soon brought home on a knock up the middle by Kerry Carpenter. After getting Jake Rogers to fly out, Yarbrough exited the game with what was later revealed to be a hamstring injury. Carlos Hernández was brought in to replace him. He’s been a bright spot this year, but he didn’t have it tonight. He walked the notoriously hard-to-walk Báez on five pitches, then surrendered an oppo knock to Miguel Cabrera that scored what would prove to be the winning run.

Kansas City had a few chances in the late innings but the ninth inning was particularly frustrating. Salvy was plunked to lead off the inning. Nicky Lopez was brought in to pinch hit for Duffy. He immediately hit into a double play on a sinker middle-middle. Massey walked and Waters singled to try to keep it going, but then Isbel struck out on three curveballs below the zone, closing out a 3-2 Detroit victory.

Some nuggets:

  • If any of the Quatraro haters out there would like some ammunition, this one is free: tonight was Hernández’s third consecutive day pitching and fourth in his past five.
  • The top four batters in Kansas City’s order went 0-14 with four punchouts. Maikel Garcia’s eighth inning walk and the aforementioned Salvy HBP were the only times any of those four reached.
  • That strike zone tonight. I’ll just leave it at this: YIKES.
  • Max Castillo’s bullpen appearance tonight was his longest scoreless outing in a Royals uniform.

The loss drops the Royals to 28-69. Despite playing in by far the worst division in baseball in which the division leader is just two games above .500, the Royals are 25.5 games back in the division. I’m not going to stop writing about the Royals game on Wednesdays, but it’s so bleak and endlessly disheartening when the games I’m writing up are almost always losses. I really do feel for the players because losing night after night after night really weighs on you, especially given how young this squad is. Why the hell would any good players want to stick around here? Enjoy Arby’s. The Royals will be back at it tomorrow afternoon with a chance to split the series.

Ryan Yarbrough: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

Eduardo Rodriguez: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 0 HR

Michael Massey: 1-3, 2B, BB, R, RBI

Riley Greene: 3-4, 2B, R