3 reasons why Thursday's game should concern the KC Royals

Kansas City beat Oakland Thursday. It wasn't convincing.
D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
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A win is a win, and always beats the alternative. But the 3-2 victory the KC Royals eked out Thursday afternoon in Oakland, doesn't merit much celebration beyond that.

Yes, the Royals needed this one. Defeating the A's allowed them to head for three weekend games at Texas still unswept by any club this season and, combined with Minnesota's loss to Tampa Bay, moved them back into second place in the American League Central.

And yes, Seth Lugo pitched well enough to post what would have been a major league-best 11th win — he gave Kansas City 6.2 eight strikeout innings, but forfeited his chance for the pitching victory by surrendering a two-run game-tying homer to Zack Gelof before departing with the score knotted at 2 in the seventh.

So, why should the Royals be concerned? For these three reasons...

Kansas City's offense remained unbalanced

The Royals certainly aren't plagued by the one of the worst offenses in baseball. They have the American League's fifth-highest average (.248), seventh-highest OBP (.311), and sixth-best SLG (404). They're tied for third in runs scored (360), have the third-most RBI (349), are ranked sixth in hits (630) and third in doubles (133), and have the second-most triples (19).

But Kansas City's is not an offense evenly spread or well-balanced. Lucky to have Bobby Witt Jr. and Salvador Perez, the club burdens them with too much of the load, and probably will until Michael Massey returns from his latest back issue, Hunter Renfroe gets back from his injury and proves his recent pre-bone bruise good hitting wasn't just a passing thing, Vinnie Pasquantino's bat gets a bit better, and the Royals somehow find a way to squeeze some real offense out of their soft-hitting outfield.

The imbalance showed itself again Thursday. Kansas City beat the A's for one primary reason only — two Royals combined to hit three solo home runs, none of which the club could have won without. Freddy Fermin belted two of those homers and Witt the other. The nine other Royals who appeared at the plate combined for just three hits.

Kansas City won't win a slew of games that way.