Adalberto Mondesi hit a home run for the KC Royals against Detroit Wednesday afternoon. So did Salvador Perez.
The Royals scored first, and even led for three innings, feats they’ve rarely accomplish lately.
But in the end, Kansas City lost again. The Royals blew their 3-1 lead in the seventh, surrendered runs in the seventh and eighth, and found their two ninth-inning scores insufficient. The result was a 6-5 loss that sealed the Tigers’ sweep of the clubs’ three-game series.
This sixth straight defeat, the club’s 11th in 12 games, puts the Royals in prime position to challenge the 11-game losing streak that ruined their May.
And once again, a glaring offensive weakness figured heavily in Kanas City’s latest loss. The homers Mondesi and Perez hit were fun—especially Mondesi’s second-inning shot in his first at-bat since returning from the Injured List Tuesday—but the Royals’ situational hitting failed them again. After going 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position, the Royals are now hitting .102 in their last 49 RISP chances. They stranded seven runners Wednesday and 25 in their three contests with the Tigers.
Assign none of the blame for this one to starter Brady Singer. Singer pitched well, surrendering a run and striking out two in three innings before Carlos Hernandez suddenly replaced him to start the fourth. Per Kansas City Star Royals beat writer Lynn Worthy, the club removed Singer for “precautionary” reasons after he reported right shoulder tightness:
Hernandez also deserves no blame. He held Detroit scoreless on two hits and struck out four with no walks in his three frames.
But that doesn’t mean the bullpen was its usually reliable self. Instead, Greg Holland took over in the seventh and quickly let Detroit tie the game by walking leadoff man Niko Goodrum and giving up a two-run homer to Willi Castro. After Holland coughed up a one-out single to Robbie Grossman, Scott Barlow came in and surrendered another single to Akil Baddoo, then uncorked a wild pitch that scored Grossman from third. The Tigers scored again on a wild pitch, this time at the hand of Jake Brentz in the eighth, and touched Josh Staumont for a run in the ninth.
The Royals teased the afternoon crowd with two runs in the ninth to make it 6-5, but Perez, Kansas City’s only truly viable All-Star Game candidate, struck out with the potential tying run on base to end the contest.
Allowing runs in the early innings, playing from behind from the beginning, and failure to drive in runs in crucial situations are characteristics the KC Royals dragged into this game. This time, though, Kansas City scored first, held the lead for a time, and received decent pitching from its starter, but the bats let them down again and the bullpen surprisingly couldn’t hold a lead.
Unfortunately, the Royals keep finding ways to lose. And it’s a maddening trend.
The KC Royals take Thursday off before beginning a three-game series with Boston at Kauffman Stadium Friday evening. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. CDT.