MLB: Kansas City Royals at Baltimore Orioles

RECAP: Sox 7 Royals 5, A New Way to Lose

The Royals’ offense came alive on Friday night against none other than Chris Sale.  Sadly, Ian Kennedy crashed and burned.

You have already written this in your head, haven’t you?

A team that could not score against anyone, hits three home runs against one of the best lefties in the game.  They cuff Sale around for 11 hits and 5 runs and chase him from the game with no outs in the sixth inning. All is well, except for Ian Kennedy serving up four home runs  – two to Alex Avila (Avila I tell ya!) –  and seven runs over six innings total.

Hey, if you are going to lose eight straight, might as well mix up the way you lose them!

On the topic of mixing it up, Ned Yost shuffled the lineup – no doubt in response to my epic column of earlier in the day.  Swapping Merrifield and Escobar, doing the same with Cain and Hosmer and giving Christian Colon a start at second base, the Royals did hit well. History, stats and common sense tell us that it might well have been chance over any relation to the batting order, but Kansas City did score.

Despite all the hits, however, all three Royals homers were solo shots, while the White Sox punched out a pair of two run homers.  I think you can do the math on that one.

You can also do the math on Ian Kennedy, who topped a bad start last time out with a horrible start tonight. I don’t want the spin on this one:  Kennedy was more than a ‘few misses’ away from a good start. He remains the Royals’ best starting pitcher thus far in 2016, but he hid it well tonight.

Lost in the final result tonight were two opposite field home runs by Eric Hosmer off of Chris Sale, followed by a hard hit ground ball out and then a sacrifice fly against lefty specialist Dan Jennings. Sure, Eric struck out to end the game, but he still had a night.

Salvador Perez homered off Sale as well and gunned down two would be base stealers.  Whit Merrifield collected two hits and threw out a runner trying to advance to third.  Christian Colon singled twice among others.  There were good things that happened, but then we still saw Kendrys Morales strike out three times and, as previously noted, watched Ian Kennedy do a Chris Young impression.

You want charts?  Analysis?  No you don’t.  Trust me.

We can agonize over the called third strike to Cheslor Cuthbert that never was and never will be in the strike zone.  We can grimace over the hanging curve(s) of Kennedy. You can lie awake pondering the 1-6 hitting with runners in scoring position that the Royals managed this game despite having 12 hits on the evening.  We could run this post-game up to 3000 words breaking down those critical moments.

Or, friends, we could quite simply say this team has produced offense one night out of the last eight and pitched well seldom. This is a team that is struggling. This is a team that does not seem to have any answers.

And now, this is a team that has lost as many games as it has won.

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