You knew they couldn’t win forever and Tuesday the winning streak stopped at five games.
Big Picture: The loss dropped the Royals to 14-8 and cut their lead to 1 1/2 games ahead of the Chicago White Sox pending their game Tuesday night.
Notes: The Royals are increasing seating capacity to 17,400 in May… 1B Ryan McBroom was recalled from the alternate site… RHP Jake Newberry was optioned to the alternate site… Signed former Boston RHP Mike Shawaryn to a minor league contract…
Salvy Returns: Salvador Perez was in the starting lineup Tuesday after leaving Monday’s game when he injured his thumb in a play at the plate on Miguel Cabrera. Perez’s thumb was bent back when he tagged Cabrera. Perez ripped a base hit to left in his first at-bat.
Junis vs. Keller: Both Jakob Junis and Brad Keller struggled in the first three innings of their latest starts, Junis on Tuesday and Keller on Monday. And even though Junis allowed a run and Keller did not, Junis was easily the better pitcher.
Let’s not look at the entire game yet. Just look at the first three innings. Both pitchers had multiple line-drive outs that benefitted them. Keller was just a little more fortunate that none of his base runners came around to score.
Now, after the third inning, the differences were stark. Keller continued to struggle but did fight through it. Junis retired eight in a row and nine of ten.
Keller has struggled all of April. Junis struggled in his previous start. I would argue that the Royals lost the game with the better pitching performance. It happens in baseball.
Pitching Carrying Royals: Pitching is carrying the Royals on their current road trip. The staff has allowed just 1.4 runs per game in the first five games on the trip. The offense is scoring just 3.2 runs per game for them. Generally, we expect any game with under four offensive runs scored to likely be a loss. The Royals have scored four or more runs twice in this stretch: six in the first win in Detroit and then four on Sunday.
Next Up: The two-game series in Pittsburgh concludes Wednesday night with Mike Minor taking the mound against Mitch Keller. Keller is struggling like our Keller. It’s too bad the Kellers couldn’t face off against each other. That could be a fun offensive show.
Thanks for reading…
|– Barlow, p||15||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|– McBroom, ph||12||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|– Holland, p||15||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|– Underwood Jr., p||15||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|– Difo, ph||26||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|– Howard, p||15||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|– Rodriguez, p||15||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|