Jul 20, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura (left) reacts after giving up a two run home run to Boston Red Sox catcher David Ross (background right) in the fourth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Royals fall flat out of All-Star break

Thud!

That’s the sound of the Kansas City Royals falling flat on their keisters coming out of the All-Star break, saving their most anemic performance for Sunday while getting swept by the Boston Red Sox in a three-game series in Bean Town. After scoring four runs Friday night and one run Saturday night, the Royals kept their downward trend going by getting shut out, 6-0, Sunday afternoon.

If you want offensive highlights, you’re in the wrong place. Try reading a Red Sox blog if that’s your flavor. The Royals’ flavor is defeat, evidently, because that is what they have been tasting lately. Three straight losses after the All-Star game and a mere five wins in 15 games during the month of July. Five! Gee, it seems like they’ve won at least six, doesn’t it?

Jon Lester (10-7, 2.50) tossed a dominating game, allowing only four hits over eight innings, striking out eight and allowing only one extra-base hit.

If you’re a Royals fan and you stuck around for the entire nine frames, you really need a second hobby. A fall-back, if you will. Something a little more reliable than, say, a 42-year old right fielder as your back up. Have you been to the lake lately? There’s an option. The weather’s been great!

Speaking of great, Yordano Ventura was anything but great. He got hit around for nine hits and six earned runs in 4.1 innings. He also handed out four free passes while striking out as many Red Sox as the Royals scored runs: zero.

Did the Royals get any runners into scoring position? Sure. But they were 0-for-four with RISP, almost matching the 0-for-5 with RISP the night before.

To be clear, Ned is disappointed and he’ll be the first to tell you. Again. And again. And again.

And when the pitching goes like it did Sunday, there isn’t even the “dang-that-was-close” one-run game that the Royals are losing at a three-to-one clip this year.

But, then again, if moral victories counted, the Royals might be, oh, six games out of first instead of seven.

Heck, if trying hard counted in the standings…well, actually it does.

NOTABLES: Eric Hosmer extended his hitting streak to 16 games with single in sixth inning. Billy Butler, whose name is being tossed around hither and thither as a trade candidate (for reasons yet to be explained) was 0-for-4 Sunday and 2-for-12 in the series with no extra-base hits. Mike Moustakas did not play and, thus, his batting average did not go down any further. The Cleveland Indians had a chance to beat the Detroit Tigers Sunday and sweep a four-game series from the Tigers for the first time – ever. They lost 5-1, but in taking three of four from the Tigers, the Indians moved into second place over the weekend, 5.5 games back and 1.5 games ahead of your third place Royals. The Royals must go 8-2 in the remaining 10 games against the Chicago White Sox, Indians and Minnesota Twins in July to have a winning record for the month. To repeat for those who are mathematically challenged, the Royals must win eight of their next 10 games in order to finish July with a 13-12 record in the month.

NEXT: Chris Sale (8-1, 2.08) looks to continue giving the Royals more after-All-Star game woes as he faces Jeremy Guthrie (5-8, 4.56) at U.S. Cellular Field Monday at 7:10 p.m.

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