Five Games that Could Have Landed Kansas City Royals a Playoff Spot

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 19: Joe Mauer /
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OAKLAND, CA – AUGUST 15: Matt Joyce
OAKLAND, CA – AUGUST 15: Matt Joyce /

2.) Aug. 15 at Oakland Athletics

Not to say the other ones here didn’t, but this loss hurt badly. The Kansas City Royals would have reclaimed sole possession of the American League’s second Wild Card spot with a victory. It’s a chance the team would not have the rest of the season.

The visiting Royals leapt out to a 3-0 lead—highlighted by a two-run double from Eric Hosmer—before the Athletics even got a chance to bat. Oakland, though, put up runs in each of the first three innings to grab a 4-3 lead entering the fourth. Matt Joyce, Matt Olson and Khris Davis each hit early home runs for the A’s.

Kansas City returned the favor in the eighth inning with three home runs. Drew Butera and Hosmer hit two-run shots, while Moustakas blasted a solo homer—his 35th of the year—to give the Royals an 8-4 lead.

Then came the collapse. Soria allowed four straight hits to begin the bottom of the eighth, which allowed Oakland to score a pair of runs. With one out, Ned Yost summoned Minor from the bullpen. He struck out a pinch-hitter then walked Rajai Davis in order to face the left-handed hitting Joyce.

The decision backfired spectacularly as Joyce cleared the bases with a double to give the A’s the lead. Marcus Semien followed with a single to put the Kansas City Royals down 10-8.

A five-run outburst in the top of the eighth had been bettered by a six-run explosion in the bottom half. When the dust settled the Kansas City Royals had blown a four-run lead and a chance to move back into a postseason spot.