The day after Justin Verlander limited them to two hits over eight innings, the Royals unleashed the lineup that put up a season-high 16 hits against the Yankees.
It didn’t change their fortunes.
Jeff Francis gave up three runs on five hits in the first inning, but recovered and pitched a complete game, giving up only two more hits the rest of the game. It doesn’t matter if your team doesn’t score, however.
The Royals have eight hits in the last 18 innings, and while you can’t blame them for getting mowed down by an elite starter like Verlander (especially with his recent performance), against Brad Penny, you’d hope they’d fare better.
Jeff Francoeur got the only walk and that didn’t come until the ninth inning. The Royals never had more than one baserunner on and only Francoeur got on base more than once. He was also the only batter to reach third.
Again, the Royals were solid on the mound and in the field, so they didn’t beat themselves in that regard. In the current road trip, they’ve given up 17 runs, only surrendering more than three on Thursday in New York. Most nights, you’re going to win if you only give up three. This team has lost two of those games though.
Despite this week’s struggles (excepting Thursday’s 11 runs), the Royals are still at the top of the American League in runs scored, tied with Detroit after today’s game with 187. That’s an average of 4.79 runs a game. They’ve scored more than they’ve given up, which is more than past teams could say at this point in the season.
Tomorrow afternoon, the Royals send Kyle Davies (1-5, 7.08) against Max Scherzer (6-0, 3.20) in a rematch of their April 8 game. Davies gave up four runs in the first inning and Scherzer cruised through six innings for the win.
We’ll see how that turns out. Davies settled down after the big inning, but his troubles came from walks – Magglio Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera walked in that big first inning and both scored. Davies has controlled the walks for most of the year, but he’s still not performing well, and the old problem with walks can rear its ugly head at any moment.
Also, a reminder that tomorrow afternoon, once the game concludes, The Royalman Report will be live for a post-game podcast. The phone number for any comments or questions is 816-394-9578.