It gets difficult to come up with a fresh way to describe Royals losses because of terrible relief pitching when it happens every day. The Royals used five relief pitchers in this game. Richard Lovelady was the only one who did not allow a run but he only pitched 1/3 of an inning. Dayton Moore must continue to look for pitching because what he has isn’t working.
Whit Merrifield’s hitting streak ended at 31 games. Whit was 0-for-6 on the day with two strikeouts. Some argue that hitting streaks should not carry over from one season to the next, but I would argue that is just as hard, but in a different way, as a streak done all in one season because you have to be hitting well in two different seasons, usually in cold weather and starting on day one of the new season.
Jorge Lopez pitched really well allowing only three hits and two runs in six innings. He ran out of gas in the sixth inning which is when he allowed both runs.
Whit Merrifield [0-for-6, 2 K]
Whit went 0-for-6 to end his hitting streak at a club record 31 games. He made a great diving catch after he moved to center field because of an injury to Billy Hamilton.
Adalberto Mondesi [1-for-3, R, RBI, 2 BB, K, HR]
Mondesi got a fastball from Mike Leake in the fifth and hit a 414 foot home run to right field.
Alex Gordon [2-for-4, 2 R, BB, 2 2B]
Gordon continues to hit the ball well to all fields. He doubled down the left field line in the third inning. He doubled in the seventh but it was really just a high pop up lost in the sun by Dee Gordon.
Jorge Soler [2-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, K, 2B, HR]
Soler doesn’t make as much consistent contact as Hunter Dozier but when he connects the ball is hit hard. He hit a home run to right center in this game to give the Royals a 3-0 lead after three innings. Soler doubled down the right field line in the seventh to score Gordon.
Hunter Dozier [3-for-5, R, 2 RBI, K, 2 2B, HR]
Nobody on the team is hitting the ball as consistently hard as Dozier. He hit a solo home run to left in the second inning in this game to give the Royals a 1-0 lead. He later doubled down the left field line on another hard hit ball. He doubled on the first pitch he saw in the seventh to right center scoring Soler.
Terrance Gore [0-for-4, 3 K]
Gore missed a catch on the run off of the end of his glove that was hit by Dee Gordon in the seventh. It was a difficult play but Gore probably catches that seven or eight times out of ten. The wind might have affected it today.
Billy Hamilton [PH, 0-for-0]
Hamilton replaced Gore in the ninth inning for defense and hurt himself running into the wall on a hit by Mitch Haniger. It looked like he was hurt pretty bad but an MRI showed just a sprained knee and he is day-to-day.
Jorge Lopez [61 GS, 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 93-58 (62%) P-S, 0.83 WHIP]
Lopez was terrific in the first five innings. He mixed his pitches well and didn’t have anything hit hard. In the sixth he had a couple of pitches hit hard, one resulting in a home run and one in a double. This was the second best start for the Royals behind Brad Keller’s Opening Day start.
Jake Newberry [H 1, 0.2 IP, H, R, ER, 2 K, 12-7 (58%), 1.50 WHIP]
Newberry was just called up and pitched the seventh inning. He allowed one hit but got two strikeouts in 2/3 of an inning.
Richard Lovelady [H 1, 0.1 IP, H, K, 9-5 (56%), 3.00 WHIP]
Lovelady was brought into the game to face Dee Gordon with two outs and a runner on second. Gordon tripled to left center to score a run and cut the Royals lead to 4-3.
Wily Peralta [H 1, IP, 3 H, R, ER, 14-10 (71%), 3.00 WHIP]
Peralta pitched the eighth and really struggled. He allowed three hits and a run and got out of the inning on a double play or there would have been more trouble. Peralta is not the answer in a close game, or maybe any game, right now.
Brad Boxberger [BS 1, IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, K, 24-17 (71%), 3.00 WHIP]
Boxberger pitched the ninth and couldn’t close it out. He gave up two runs to tie the game. Boxberger is going downhill quickly. A decision might need to be made sooner rather than later.
Glenn Sparkman [L 0-1, IP, H, R, ER, 19-10 (52%), 1.00 WHIP]
Sparkman pitched the tenth inning and allowed a home run to Daniel Vogelbach. That ended up being the winning run.