The KC Royals need to take a long, long look at themselves. But after what Boston did to them, and what they did to themselves Thursday afternoon at Fenway Park, the Royals won’t like what they see.
The Red Sox demolished Kansas City 15-1. The contest, if it can really be called that, marked the final embarrassment of a humiliating 10-game road trip for the Royals, one that started with the club six games below .500 and ended with it 14 games under that mark. KC started its three-city journey by beating the Yankees June 22, and never won again.
And this latest loss, one that completed Boston’s four-game sweep of the Royals, was the worst of the trip…and the worst of a season that will reach its half-way point when Friday’s game against Minnesota concludes.
How bad was it?
The 15 runs the Red Sox scored off five KC Royals pitchers were the most any team has managed against Kansas City this season, eclipsing by one the 14 Tampa Bay scored April 20.
Continuing an all-too-familiar pattern, the starting rotation failed. Kris Bubic started for Kansas City and gave up five runs in four innings. The Royals’ starters surrendered 20 of the 34 runs Boston tallied in the four games.
Bubic allowed the Red Sox only four hits, but three of those were home runs and accounted for all the runs he coughed up. The leadoff homer Enrique Hernandez hit in the first ended the game mathematically. He also hit a batter.
Ervin Santana took over for Bubic to start the fifth. Because Boston tagged him for four runs and four hits, he lasted only an inning. His worst moment, emblematic of what this this season is rapidly becoming for the KC Royals, came when he dropped a ball on the mound with the bases loaded, a balk in baseball’s unforgiving book that scored a run. Like Bubic, Santana also hit a batter.
No Kansas City pitcher escaped unscathed. Besides the nine runs Bubic and Santana combined to yield, Josh Staumont gave up three, Scott Barlow one, and Anthony Swarzak, one of the most mysterious of the Royals’ recent signings, surrendered two.
Six Royals—Edward Olivares, Jorge Soler, Hanser Alberto, Salvador Perez, Sebastian Rivero, and Ryan O’Hearn—went hitless. And although three others—Carlos Santana, Hunter Dozier, and Nicky Lopez—had two hits apiece, Kansas City’s offense was, as it has been far too many times this season, lacking. KC didn’t score until only one out remained in the game.
The Royals were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base.
After Thursday, can things get any worse for these struggling KC Royals?
This loss was Kansas City’s ninth in a row and leaves them just two defeats short of the 11 straight losses they suffered in May. Now 33-47, the Royals are assured of holding onto last place in the American League Central no matter how the Twins, presently their closest competitors for the cellar, fare against the White Sox in their Thursday game.
Can it get uglier for Kansas City? The answer is an obvious “Yes,” especially for a team currently doing little correctly and looking listless and lost.
And things will probably get worse unless principal owner John Sherman makes some changes. Some are more immediately necessary than others, but Sherman now has no choice.
The Royals will try to begin righting their ship Friday night against Minnesota. Brady Singer is set to face J.A. Happ in the 7:10 p.m. CT contest at Kauffman Stadium.