The Royals season may have hit a new low on Wednesday as the Cleveland Guardians ran away in a 14-1 laugher. Royals pitchers gave up 14 hits and walked 8, and it was the eleventh time this year they have given up double digit runs in a game.
Lefty Austin Cox made his first MLB start after throwing 12 1⁄3 innings of shutout ball in relief. He started well, pitching a 1-2-3 first inning, and getting out of trouble with a scoreless second. But he had trouble from the start of the third inning, giving up a single to #9 hitter Bo Naylor, then walking the next to hitters to load the bases. Jose Ramirez has absolutely terrorized Royals pitchers over the years, and he gave Austin Cox the same treatment by drilling a grand slam, his 13th home run of the year.
Cox would be lifted in the fourth after 3 2⁄3 innings with four walks and two strikeouts, having allowed four runs. Brooks Kriske gave up a monster two-run home run to Josh Bell, and his two runs in 1 1⁄3 innings only raised his career MLB ERA from 12.27 to 12.35.
The Royals brought in James McArthur to make his MLB debut for the sixth, having acquired him a few weeks ago from the Phillies. McArthur allowed the first seven hitters to reach base before recording an out, and all seven came around to score by the end of the inning. It is the most runs allowed in a relief appearance in an MLB debut by a pitcher in Royals history, eclipsing the six runs allowed by Aaron Brooks in 2014 and Andres Machado in 2017. It ties Jim Campbell in 1990 and Dan Reichert in 1999 for the most runs allowed by any Royals pitcher in his MLB debut.
James McArthur is the third Royal ever to allow the cycle in one inning or less. The other two:— Kurtis Seaboldt ️ (@KSeaboldt) June 29, 2023
Brandon Duckworth in 2008
Jeff Granger in 1996
He's the only pitcher to add a walk to that cycle.
By that point the game was over, with the Royals trailing 13-0. The Guardians added another run in the seventh off Nick Wittgren, but the Royals got it back when Freddy Fermin singled home Drew Waters. Matt Duffy pitched a scoreless ninth, the second pitching appearance of his career. Royals hitters did make Logan Allen work a bit - he left after 98 pitches in just 3 2⁄3 innings, but they managed just five hits on the night while striking out 12 times.
The Royals fall to 22-58 and have lost 19 of 24 in the month of June. They’ll try to salvage the series tomorrow afternoon with Zack Greinke scheduled to face Shane Bieber.