Kansas City Royals drop another game in May


A West Coast trip seemed to be just what the doctor ordered for the Kansas City Royals to remove the “curse of May,” and regain winning form after a 3-game sweep at the hands of the Detroit Tigers. But they were rudely treated by the San Diego Padres Monday night in extra innings, losing in twelve innings, 6-5.

Ned Yost is searching for answers as to why he can’t win in the merry month of May. Photo by Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Collins (0-2, 13.50) took the loss, while Tim Stauffer (1-0, 2.45) got the win.

When Jedd Gyorko took Greg Holland deep in the ninth to tie the game 4-4, an elusive May win for the Royals looked like a faint hope again. But as extra innings unfolded, the Royals would take the lead in the top of the twelfth, only to disappoint again with their fifth loss in a row…all in the merry month of May, conjuring images of last year’s May collapse.

Padres manager Bud Black brought in his closer, Houston Street (OMG – you mean a manager used his closer to prolong an extra inning game? Has someone consulted with Ned Yost about that?)* who shut down the Royals in the top of the tenth.

In the eleventh, Lorenzo Cain led off with a double, was moved over to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jarrod Dyson, but Justin Maxwell and Omar Infante failed to cash in.

Louis Coleman, pitching the bottom of the eleventh, gave up a one-out walk to Seth Smith, and followed that by walking Yasmani Grandal. Gyorko hit a nubber toward first that Coleman fielded and shuttled to Eric Hosmer for the second out, moving runners to second and third. Kyle Blanks flew out to center to end the threat.

Salvador Perez sent a one-out liner into the right field gap for a double in the twelfth. Alex Gordon, who was 0-for-6 on the night, struck out. Mike Moustakas then picked on an inside pitch and yanked it down the right field line for run-scoring double, putting the Royals up 5-4.

Chris Denorfia led off the bottom of the twelfth with a single off Coleman. Tim Collins replaced Coleman. After a sacrifice moved the runner to second, Yonder Alonso hit a bloop double, putting runners on second and third. Will Venable then smacked a game-winning hit over the right fielder’s head.

Lost in all the stranded runners (11 for the Royals, 6 for the Padres) was a quality start by Yordano Ventura. Ventura went six innings, giving up 5 hits and 3 runs to go along with 10 strikeouts. He gave up a 3-run homer to Grandal in the sixth. The 3-run shot knotted the game after the Royals had scored one in the second and two in the fifth.

Eric Hosmer gave the Royals a one-run lead, hitting a solo shot off the top of the right field wall in the seventh. For Hosmer, it was his first home run of the year and his third run batted in of the game.

NOTABLES: Aaron Crow tossed a perfect seventh inning. He has pitched 12 innings this year, striking out eight and posting an ERA of 0.00.

Lorenzo Cain, back off the disabled list, went 4-5 at the plate to raise his average to .383.

Yordano Ventura singled to left in the fifth, his first Major League hit, and came around to score on Hosmer’s 2-run single.

Wade Davis tossed a perfect eighth, lowering his ERA to 2.70. Kelvin Herrera pitched a perfect tenth, lowering his ERA to 1.93.

Danny Valencia, starting at third to face a lefty in place of Mike Moustakas, had an RBI single in the second.
Royals pitchers struck out 14, a season high for a game.

Nori Aoki left seven runners on base, while lowering his away batting average to .183.

NEXT: Hell, it’s 12:27 in the morning out here in the mountains of Colorado. You look it up!

(Did I mention that the Royals are 0-5 in May? The Royals must now go 15-9 the rest of the month to ensure a winning month. Anyone want to bet their beer money on that happening?)
* After being taken the woodshed over a week ago for the following critique of Ned Yost and his refusal to use Holland to preserve a tie in extra innings, Bud Black becomes the second manager to do exactly that against the Royals. So, by pointing this out again, I freely admit that, yes, this is another example of how I do not believe Ned Yost to be a good manager.

(Originally published April 27: Yes, even though the post-game voice who hosts the radio call-in show dismissed this fact, it’s true that Manager Ned Yost brought in closer Greg Holland to “preserve” an 8-2 game today, yet left Holland sitting on the pine in yesterday’s extra-inning loss. Now, we all know he just wanted Holland to have a little work tonight. Yet, even though Yost told the Kansas City Star that he would never use Holland in a game like yesterday until it was a save situation, it’s difficult to grasp any rationale for his use today vs. his need yesterday. The easiest way to approach the conundrum, if I were a radio host, would be, I suppose, to just hang up on any caller who would sensibly bring up this puzzler. That would teach ’em.)