They say all good things must come to an end and on Saturday afternoon, the Royals 13 game streak of holding opponents to three runs or less met that end. Jeremy Guthrie gave up three homers and five runs in Tampa in the third game of a four game set.
The three homers added to an already league-leading total for dingers allowed by Guthrie and he didn’t strike anyone out either. To his credit, he didn’t walk anyone until the seventh inning, however he walked three but managed to sneak out without giving up more runs. He was only charged with four earned runs after an error on a pickoff catch allowed Ben Zobrist to move to second then score after moving to third. Unfortunately, it came after a pickoff attempt that looked to be successful. After Zobrist advanced, Elliot Johnson fielded a ball near shallow right field and got a late throw to first, but it still looked to be an out. Instead, Luke Scott was ruled safe.
So the first inning could have gone better for all involved.
The Royals rebounded, scoring two in the top of the second after a bases loaded walk by Alex Gordon and a sacrifice fly from Eric Hosmer. Beyond that, though, the Royals rarely had scoring opportunities against starter Alex Cobb (more on him in a moment). They were shut down easily in the third and fourth innings and didn’t score until the eighth when Salvador Perez homered off former Royal Joel Peralta.
The game took on a subdued feeling, though, in the top of the fifth inning. Eric Hosmer led off the inning, worked a 2-1 count and then laced a line drive back up the middle. It hit Cobb in the side of the head and bounced back to catcher Jose Lobaton who threw to James Loney to get the out, but immediately after, they went to the mound and were met by training personnel. Cobb was down for a long time while all of the players were understandably shaken up.
Reports are now that Cobb suffered “just” mild concussion (though no, there are no insignificant concussions) and he’d never lost consciousness. That’s fortunate, since Marc Topkin reported that the ball was traveling 102.4 miles per hour off Hosmer’s bat. He was later visited by Chris Archer, Jeremy Hellickson, former Rays James Shields and Elliot Johnson and also Hosmer himself.
Back to the game – The Royals threatened in the ninth against Fernando Rodney, getting a two out single from Alex Gordon and a walk from Eric Hosmer to put the tying run on base for Perez. It wasn’t meant to be, however, as Perez grounded out on the first pitch on a chopper to short.