The Royals fell below .500 losing 2-1 to the Texas Rangers Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium. The 2016 season now hangs by a thread.
The KC Royals fell to 48-49 with Sunday’s 2-1 loss, and now trail the Cleveland Indians by 9.0 games in the AL Central. The Texas Rangers improve to 57-42 and maintain their 2.5 game lead over the Astros for first place in the AL West.
The Kansas City Royals have been so bad in July, that they aren’t even winning at home. Once playing better than any team in baseball in their home park, the KC Royals are now 31-17 at the K. They’ve lost four of their six games in this series, and are 3-6 since the All-Star break. The Kansas City Royals are also a miserable 6-13 in July.
If the Royals are going to make a run, they need to do it soon. Like right now, or general manager Dayton Moore will be forced to sell off impending free agents Kendrys Morales, Luke Hochevar, and Edinson Volquez.
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Both Volquez and Morales had outstanding days, Playing at first base in place of Eric Hosmer, who shifted to Morales’ DH role, Morales went 3 for 3 with a double, home run, and a walk. His ninth inning single gave the Royals a lead-off runner down by one run, but they couldn’t score the run against Texas closer Sam Dyson.
Volquez lasted 6.0 innings, while allowing 7 hits, 3 walks, and one earned run with 3 strikeouts. Volquez wasn’t dominant, but he escaped jam after jam until he gave up a two out single to Mitch Moreland in the sixth inning with a runner on third base. Moreland’s single tied the game at 1-1.
However, it was the third impending free agent in Luke Hochevar who lost the game. Hochevar’s seventh inning struggles continued when he gave up a solo shot to Rangers no. 9 hitter Delino DeSheilds that cost KC the game.
The blunt fact is the offense, starting pitching, and now the bullpen have collapsed in July. About the only part of the team playing well is the defense, and it just hasn’t been enough to prevent the KC Royals nosedive.
We can all remind ourselves that the 2014 Royals were 48-50 before finishing with a rush to win 89 games and the top wild card in the American League. But, rather than a young team just finding its confidence, the 2016 KC Royals look like a battered fighter that has simply run out of gas.