Despite putting the leadoff hitter on base in five of nine innings, the Royals score in just one, putting up two runs in the sixth.
It fit the narrative of the whole series against Oakland, as the Royals managed just 18 hits over the three games against the A’s. Tyson Ross did just enough to keep the Royals from producing runs, while Jeff Francis got behind in the first inning and the A’s added single runs in later innings to pull away.
It was a disappointing end to a 6-3 homestand that included a Royals sweep of the Twins.
Things never really clicked. Jeff Francoeur singled to lead off the second inning and got caught at third trying to advance on a bad throw by Mark Ellis, but got caught at third. Wilson Betemit got too far away from second base and was thrown out on a Mitch Maier RBI single in the sixth. Melky Cabrera struck out to strand Brayan Pena in the last scoring opportunity the Royals got in the eighth.
Altogether, the Royals scored just eight runs against Oakland’s pitching, despite decent enough pitching of their own. Francis settled down and gave up just one more one in his outing.
Eric Hosmer drove in his first run as a big leaguer, crushing a double off the top of the wall that scored Cabrera in the sixth. He was inches from a homer but scored on Maier’s single just before Betemit got caught off base.
His 2-4 day brought his (early) stat line to .333/.500/.444 over the weekend – not a bad debut at all. He looked somewhat tentative on Friday in his debut, but seemed to get comfortable in the rest of the series.
The Royals are off tomorrow as they travel to Yankee Stadium. Kyle Davies (1-4, 7.32) gets the first game against the American League’s highest scoring team (though the Yankees are tied with – believe it or not – the Royals with 170 runs scored). New York has hit almost twice as many homers as the Royals, at 54 to 28. There’s a very good chance that Eric Hosmer gets his first career homer in Yankee Stadium with their short porch in right.
He’ll try to make that happen against Freddy Garcia (1-2, 2.88) who is 9-13 with a 5.89 ERA over his career against the Royals dating back to 1999 (if you’re curious and think his performance against Johnny Damon is relevant to today…)