Near the end of a road trip that started badly, the Royals end the streak.
Hernández’s struggles during the losing streak continued as soon as Kansas City arrived in Seattle to begin its road trip. The Mariners, at 50-66 somewhat hapless but still better than the 38-79 Royals, scorched Hernandez for six runs before Buddy Bell pulled him after six innings. The bullpen allowed five more runs and Seattle won 11-3.
Now losers of 80 games, the Royals had hope the next night after taking a 2-0 lead in the first. But Greinke gave up run-scoring singles to future Royal Raúl Ibañez and Adrian Beltre in the second and another run in the third, Affeldt surrendered one in the eighth, and KC lost 4-3.
The Royals made some noise in the series finale the next afternoon, but the single run they scored in the sixth, and the four they collected in the ninth on Paul Phillips’ grand slam—one of only three homers he managed in a seven-season career—weren’t nearly enough. The M’s won 11-5.
The Royals lose the first of three in Oakland, then put the streak to rest.
Once again, a day off did nothing for Kansas City when they opened the second and final leg of their road trip in Oakland. Five pitchers combined to shut out the Royals 4-0; the A’s scored all their runs off Lima, who lost his 12th game of the year. The streak stood at 19.
The next night, the Royals found themselves on the verge of their 20th straight loss after falling behind after three innings. But they grabbed a 2-1 lead in the fourth on Brown’s double and Stairs’ run-scoring grounder to first.
This time, there would be no blown lead. Kansas City starter Wood left after five frames and Sisco, Burgos, Affeldt and MacDougal, all of whom struggled during the streak, held the A’s scoreless the rest of the way. KC won 2-1 and, 23 days after it started at home, the Royals’ terrible losing streak ended on the road.
The club went 4-6 the rest of August, then 12-17 in September and 1-1 in October to complete the worst season in team history at 56-106. The Royals finished last in the AL Central, 43 full games behind division champ Chicago and 15 behind fourth place Detroit. General Manager Allard Baird survived the season, but was replaced by Dayton Moore in early 2006; Buddy Bell managed the club through the 2007 campaign.
The Royals lost 19 straight games in 2005. They and their fans hope never to see such a debacle again.