Ned Yost, like all others in Royals Nation, stares blankly for answers. And there are none. Photo by Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Royals continue same script with 3-1 loss

If you read my column yesterday, this is essentially the same template. I just changed the names and inserted tonight’s losing score.

Billy Butler went 0-for-3 at the plate, lowering his average to .267, and the Kansas City Royals lost to the Chicago White Sox, 3-1, in the opener of a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.

All things for the Royals keep headed in the same direction. South.

Butler is 2-for-15 in the first four games following the Mid-Summer Classic with no extra-base hits. Butler epitomizes a team full of hitters whom Manager Ned Yost recently characterized as “second half” guys. By scoring one run, the Royals have now put up two runs in their past three games and only six in their first four games since the break.

Any day now.

Jeremy Guthrie (5-9, 4.56) gave up two runs in the first inning. Chris Sale (9-1, 2.03) was on the mound for the Pale Hose. Game over.

Another run in the sixth by the ChiSox negated the only run scored by the Royals in the fourth when Alex Gordon singled, stole second and scored on a Danny Valencia single.

That was the entire production and threat created by the “second half” guys.

The Royals are now 5-11 in July and need to go 8-1 in their next nine games to avoid having a losing July. In about the same amount of time, the Royals will also decide whether or not they are buyers or sellers.

If you’ve grown attached to James Shields, one can only hope you don’t suffer separation anxiety for long. If you like seeing Greg Holland come out the bullpen, one can only hope you get a few more chances to do so.

If you’ve grown attached to Butler, one can…wait, are you kidding? Two out of three, perhaps.

But if Shields goes. And Holland goes. And Butler, at the least, isn’t signed for 2015. Then how in the world, True Blue Royals Fans, can Ned Yost possibly manage the rest of the year? And if Ned, who received an extension that parallels his boss’ extension, is not retained, then, well you read the tea leaves?

Nine more games. Or thereabouts. That’s all that’s left in this sorry iteration of the most futile organization in North American professional sports. Nine more games.

NOTABLES: Eric Hosmer sat out due to a sore wrist. This is notable because the one positive right now is his 16-game hitting streak, which gets to be carried over for another night. Mike Moustakas went 1-for-1 and raised his average to .190. For those who don’t know or don’t follow the Royals, Moustakas is the Royals regular third baseman. Yes. The Royals regular third baseman raised his average to .190 on July 21. (Is that what Ned meant by “second half” guys?)

NEXT: Bruce Chen (1-2, 6.46) vs. Scott Carroll (4-5, 4.19), Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. at U.S. Cellular Field.

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