Jun 5, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Greg Holland (56) delivers a pitch in the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Kauffman Stadium. Kansas City won the game 3-2. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Holland Suffers Rare Meltdown as Royals Lose 7-5

Greg Holland has been about as reliable as any closer in baseball since taking over as the Royals closer in 2012. Tonight, Holland proved that he is, in fact, human, as he suffered through a rare meltdown in the ninth inning as the Royals lost 7-5.

With a pitching matchup of James Shields against the Seattle Mariners Hisashi Iwakuma, it would have been expected that runs would be at a premium. Instead, the Mariners offense was in attack mode from the beginning. Former Royals Endy Chavez doubled to lead off the game, and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Robinson Cano made certain that the opportunity was not lost, as he grounded a base hit through a drawn in infield to give the Mariners a quick 1-0 lead.

Seattle extended that lead the the fourth inning. With two outs, Mike Zunino crushed Shields’ 0-1 offering to left for a solo home run, putting the Mariners ahead 2-0. An inning later, the Mariners continued to pour on the runs, scoring three more in the fifth on Cano’s RBI double and a two run home run from Logan Morrison to give Seattle a 5-0 lead.

Just when it seemed that a packed Kauffman Stadium had come out for the same old Royals, the Kansas City offense came to life. With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Salvador Perez put the Royals on the board with a solo home run to left. After Lorenzo Cain doubled, Mike Moustakas hit a shot to right for a two run home run, re-energizing the crowd as the Royals pulled to within two runs.

Kansas City tied the game in the next inning. Iwakuma allowed consecutive singles to Billy Butler and Alex Gordon to put runners at first and second to lead off the bottom of the sixth before being pulled from the game. Dominic Leone came on and gave up an RBI single to Perez and a run scoring fielder’s choice to Cain as the Royals drew even.

The Royals had a chance to take the lead in the bottom of the eighth. Butler led off the inning with an infield single(!!), and was followed by a base hit by Gordon to put runners at first and second. Perez flew out to center, and a tagging Butler was hit by the throw in, allowing both runners to advance. An intentional walk loaded the bases, bringing up Moustakas with a chance to put the Royals on top. Moustakas flared the ball over second, but Cano made a running catch to prevent a run from coming in. Charlie Furbush then struck out Alcides Escobar to end the threat.

That was when everything came apart. Greg Holland came on for the top of the ninth, and gave up a home run to Brad Miller, putting the Mariners back on top. After two quick outs, Holland lost the strike zone. After giving up a base hit to James Jones, he walked Cano and Kyle Seager to load the bases. Morrison followed with a base hit to center, scoring Jones. Cano was thrown out at the plate to end the inning, but the damage had been done with the Mariners holding a 7-5 lead.

Once again, the Royals fought back, putting runners at first and second with one out against Seattle closer Fernando Rodney. However, Rodney got pinch hitter Nori Aoki to ground into a fielder’s choice and struck out Alex Gordon on three pitches to preserve the 7-5 victory for the Mariners.

Holland took the loss, giving up two runs on three hits and two walks in his inning of work. James Shields had another rough outing for the Royals, allowing five runs on nine hits and a walk, giving up two more home runs in his seven innings of work.

Billy Butler was 3-4 before being lifted for pinch runner Pedro Ciriaco in the bottom of the eighth.

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Tags: Kansas City Royals

  • Travis Forsyth

    So much for being in first place

    • cardsfanatik

      Didn’t last long did it?

    • cardsfanatik

      All the more reason to make a trade for some OFFENSE. Moustakas is hitting for some pop, but 7 HR’s this far into the season still isn’t that good, and the .175 average sucks. Would like to see him go to Philly, and Brown come back to K.C. Then trade for an Aaron Hill type guy.

      • jimfetterolf

        Moose has 8 homers, but you wouldn’t know that.

        • cardsfanatik

          You’re a douche

          • jimfetterolf

            You’re wrong about everything else, so probably wrong about that too. Still want to trade the farm for Aaron Hill?

    • Ryan Caltrider

      Don’t worry, in just 10 short years they will be in first again.

  • Geogman

    Disappointing loss in front of a sell out, especially after battling back from 5-0 deficit. Need to get this one today.

  • Ryan Caltrider

    The most disappointing thing in this game was, once again, Yost’s decision to PR for Butler in the 8th. First of all, he didn’t pinch run for him until he reached 3rd. If you’re going to do it (which you shouldn’t), you should do it sooner. It would have been nice to have you hottest hitter up in the 9th with two on and one out but he was on the bench because of the stupid decision to PR for him. Also, it would be nice to have a bat like Maxwell’s on the bench instead of having 84 relief pitchers in the bullpen. Seriously, carrying 13 pitchers is beyond stupid (and that is on Dayton).

    I hope this isn’t the beginning of another losing stretch of games. Need to get the next two from Seattle. I hope this is just a small bump in the road, but the last 29 years have conditioned me to expect the worst and something like dropping 10 of 12 games.

    • Ryan Caltrider

      But we only had to wait one day for Ned to out-stupid himself. Way to keep Vargas in for 3 too many batters. After the double, he should have been done. It’s not like you need to save the bullpen, we have 30 of them out there. Also, Pedro Ciriaco should not be on this roster.