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Kansas City’s offense stalls again, falls 3-0 to Tigers.

The Royals are shutout for the 12th time

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

With most teams, there are things that mark their successes and failures. The 2014 Royals’ success was paved by a dominant bullpen while the 2018 Chiefs were ultimately undone by a hapless defense.

But sometimes it’s simpler! This 2023 Royals seem to be one of those cases, marked both by an offense that can’t hit and a pitching staff that struggles to get outs. And while this season has been marked by days when the offense failed the pitching and vice versa, or days when both were terrible, this day was the former.

A Bobby Witt Jr-less Kansas City offense was shut down by Tigers starter Michael Lorenzen, dropping the matinee and the series in a 3-0 shutout loss. The Tigers improve to 44-52 while the Royals drop to 28-70 (!!). Kansas City is flirting with the most losses in a modern-era season, on pace to lose 116 games, just one loss shy of tying the record.

Royals starter Zack Greinke labored a bit through the first few innings. A double play helped him to work around a Riley Greene single in the 1st but found himself back in trouble in the 2nd. A single and walk with two outs led to back-to-back RBI singles from Andy Ibanez and Eric Haase, putting Detroit up 2-0.

Greinke settled in after the 2nd inning, but the Royals' offense had nothing for him. Through four innings, Kansas City managed just two hits and a walk against Tigers starter Jared Lorenzen. Two Royals reached 3rd in those four innings but Kansas City was unable to capitalize on either.

Entering the afternoon, only three American League pitchers have gotten less run support from their teams than Zack, something he was quite used to in his first stint with Kansas City and throughout his career.

As our own Max Rieper notes in the article linked above, no pitcher in baseball history has gone 6+ innings with 0-1 runs allowed and saw his team lose more often than Greinke. Today marked another start in Greinke’s long career where he got zero runs in support.

He lasted just 4.0 innings, giving up two runs in the 2nd on four hits and two walks. He was replaced by Austin Cox to begin the 5th, who immediately found himself in trouble. After a Haase ground out to begin the inning, Zach McKinstry tripled and was followed by a Riley Greene walk. Spencer Torkelson drove in McKinstry on a sacrifice fly to boost the Detroit lead to 3-0 before Cox got out of the inning.

Kansas City looked to get a jolt in the 6th on a double from Kyle Isbel, but he was thrown out attempting to stretch the double into a triple.

The double was the only hit or base runner for the Royals after the 4th inning, and counting Isbel’s out at 3rd, the Tigers retired 13 straight Kansas City batters before Maikel Garcia’s leadoff single in the 9th. Salvador Perez’s double play ended the game two batters later. The Royals head east next to face the struggling Yankees, losers of 8 of their last 10.

Up Next: Royals at Yankees, Friday, July 20, 6:05 PM CDT, Yankee Stadium. RHP Alec Marsh (0-3, 5.40 ERA) v. Clarke Schmidt (5-6, 4.31 ERA)