The Royals failed in their quest to re-gain their rightful position atop the AL Central, losing to the Seattle Mariners on Saturday by a score of 2-1. It was their third straight defeat.
Jason Vargas (3.16 ERA / 1.21 WHIP) started for the Royals, and went 8 and 2/3rds innings, giving up ten hits and two runs while striking out two and walking none. A solid outing that lasted perhaps a batter too long. With the sore tied at 1-1 in the ninth, Ned Yost decided to leave Vargas in after a brief visit to the mound, and Mariners DH Dustin Ackley singled in what proved to be the winning run.
The Royals offense was stymied by Seattle starter Chris Young (3.23 ERA / 1.17 WHIP), who gave up only three hits, a walk, and one run on a solo shot by Alex Gordon. Fernando Rodney earned his 20th save of the season, his second in the last two days against KC.
The lingering euphoria of the magical ten game winning streak is gone now. In its place, the more familiar despair Royals fans know all too well. Welcome back. Now go away.
There will be many more ups and downs before the season is over. But take heart. As we near the half-way mark, it looks like we have a team that can genuinely compete for a post-season berth, over the long haul. The pitching and defense are good enough to keep them in games consistently.
I feel a KC win coming tomorrow, flowing in to town with the positive chi from the South.