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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The KC Royals can't afford to lose series to bad clubs

The Royals are good, but not so much so that they can absorb being swept or let poor teams take series from them. That's especially true both now, when they haven't made any necessary moves to improve their obvious weaknesses, and down the stretch when playoff chase pressure increases dramatically and losses suddenly take on more immediate significance.

Kansas City arrived in Oakland after going 5-7 in 12 straight games against first-place teams. Losers of nine straight and looking much like the Athletics who lost 112 games — six more than the Royals, who tied their own franchise single-season record for losses — just a season ago, the A's appeared ripe for a sweep at Kansas City's hands.

But they almost pulled one off of their own. Oakland beat the Royals 7-5 Tuesday night and 5-1 Wednesday evening; the first loss dropped Kansas City out of second place and into third for the first time since May 13. Fortunately, Kansas City sidestepped the sweep Thursday, but the fashion in which they did so wasn't especially convincing.

The Royals still lost the series, though, and that's something they must avoid, or at least significantly minimize, as the season moves into its most critical stages. And barely beating a bad team to escape a sweep should give this club pause.

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