After a beautiful pregame ceremony to honor Royals great Lorenzo Cain, the current squad made fans yearn for the past in a 5-4 loss to the A’s that tied them with Oakland for the worst record in baseball at 8-26. Brady Singer struggled with his control all evening, lasting just four innings and allowing five runs on six hits. He walked three, and just 52 of his 96 pitches were strikes. A’s pitchers also struggled with walks, handing out ten free passes, but Royals hitters were unable to take advantage, stranding 15 baserunners on the night.
The Royals got on the board in the first with a two-out rally. A’s starter Ken Waldichuk issued back-to-back walks to Vinnie Pasquantino and Salvador Perez, and Maikel Garcia doubled to score a run.
But Singer would struggle with his command as well in the second. JJ Bleday led off with a double, then Singer walked Shea Langeliers and Jace Peterson to load the bases. With two outs, Esteury Ruiz singled to score two and give the A’s a 2-1 lead.
Bleday turned on an inside fastball by Singer in the third and deposited it in the right field seats for his second home run of the year to make it 3-1 Oakland. The A’s got two more in the fourth when Ryan Noda tripled home a run, followed by an RBI double by Brent Rooker to make it 5-1.
The Royals did get some of those runs back in the bottom of the inning when Freddy Fermín smacked his second career MLB home run. After a Jackie Bradley Jr. double, Bobby Witt Jr. smacked his sixth home run of the year to make it 5-4 A’s.
The Royals blew some chances in the late innings to take the lead. Former Royals pitcher Richard Lovelady was brought in for the A’s in the seventh and struggled with his command, walking two and hitting a batter to load the bases. But manager Matt Quatraro brought in lefty MJ Melendez as a pinch hitter for Bradley against the southpaw, and Melendez struck out on a slider to end the threat. A’s reliever Sam Moll struggled with his command in the eighth, walking Pasquantino and hitting Salvy to put two on. But Maikel Garcia grounded out to first, stranding the two runners.
Michael Massey led off the ninth with a single, the third time he reached base tonight after two walks earlier in the game. He advanced to second on a wild pitch, putting the potential tying run in scoring position. Pinch-hitter Nick Pratto struck out against closer Zack Jackson, as did Fermin. MJ Melendez walked to put the winning run on base, but Bobby Witt Jr. grounded out to end the game.
The Royals will have to win tomorrow afternoon to avoid a home sweep to the lowly Oakland Athletics. Lefty Ryan Yarbrough is scheduled to face rookie Mason Miller at 1:10 CT.