The Royals failed to build on Wednesday’s comeback victory, losing a 3-2 decision to the Texas Rangers in Arlington on Thursday night.
The Kansas City Royals fell to 49-52 with Thursday’s 3-2 loss, and fell to 9.0 games behind the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central. The Rangers improved to 59-44 and lead the Astros by 3.0 games for first place in the AL West.
For seven innings, KC Royals starter Yordano Ventura matched Texas ace Cole Hamels, both holding the opposing team to two runs. However, with the Kansas City Royals bullpen compromised by Wade Davis throwing 33 pitches on Wednesday and Luke Hochevar‘s sore shoulder which forced him to the 15-day disabled list, KC manager Ned Yost decided to send Ventura out to pitch the eighth.
Ventura surrendered his third solo home run of the game to put the Rangers ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning. Mitch Moreland was the guy to take the hero turn with the game winning blast, which was his second home run of the night. Rougned Odor added the other home run for Texas.
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Texas closer Sam Dyson earned his 21st save of the season, despite giving up a lead-off walk to Kendrys Morales and allowing pinch runner Jarrod Dyson to steal second base. However, the KC Royals stranded Dyson after putting him in scoring position with no outs in the ninth.
On most nights, Ventura would have left the game after the seventh. He still pitched a good game, but had the misfortune of playing in the bandbox that is Globe LIfe Park in Arlington and being opposed by Cole Hamels.
Ventura’s seventh inning lapse wasted a good night from right fielder Paulo Orlando, who went 1 for 3 with a solo home run and a walk. Raul Mondesi continues to flash his plus glove and speed on the bases, racking up his first stolen base of his career before getting thrown out at third base trying to advance on an errant throw. While his third-inning blunder proved costly since it deprived the Royals of a runner in scoring position with no outs, he showed just how disruptive he could be on the base paths.
No matter the reason, it’s another loss that brings KC Royals general manager Dayton Moore closer to making the sell decision. SInce he still hopes his team can turn things around, he’s likely to wait until the last moment before moving any of his guys. Yet, Thursday afternoon brought a flurry of rumors that he is considering packaging closer Wade Davis with free-agent signee Ian Kennedy in what would shape up to be a mega-trade.
Hochevar’s shoulder injury will likely kill any possibility that he could move at the deadline, but designated hitter Kendrys Morales is also in the last year of his contract as well as starter Edinson Volquez.
Things can’t exactly be calm in the Kansas City Royals clubhouse since the guys have to know that Moore could pull the trigger on a deal anytime over the next three days.