29 June 2005

Back in the W column

After squandering a late lead in an 11-8 loss Tuesday night the Royals finally snapped their losing streak with a 3-1 win today behind D.J. Carrasco, who has been the team's pitcher of the year thus far.

As for Tuesday's game, the Royals took an 8-7 lead in the 6th but the bullpen waved it goodbye for good in the 7th and Minnesota's actual solid bullpen finished the job. J.P. Howell proved once more he's not ready for prime time by allowing 5 ER on 6 hits and 4 BB with 1 K over 3 1/3 IP. Where's the 8 K J.P. we saw in start one? Mike Wood came in and didn't stop the bleeding for long but neither did Andy Sisco or Leo Nunez (another not-ready-for-prime-time player)....or Ryan Jensen, for that matter. Each pitcher gave up at least 1 ER. Meanwhile, Shane Costa looks to be getting comfortable at the plate as he was 3-4 with 3 RBIs and his 2nd big league homer and Gotay, Long, Brown, Buck and Stairs all had 2-hit games. DeJesus and Berroa led things off wrong with a combined 0-9 night. Those are our table setters, all right. The team actually got 4 XBH tho, which was nice to see. I was waiting for them to change the mascot to the Singletons, or the One-Base-Hit Wonders. Unfortunately for KC, Shannon Stewart duplicated Costa's efforts and C Mike Redmond had a good night at the plate, as did Luis Rivas, the Royal Killer. So that's another loss in a string of losses for KC. I don't think the struggles this trip would have bothered me as much if the team hadn't bobbled and whiffed their way through the first month-and-a-half or two of the season to dig themselves such a bad hole. Maybe it would have been worse, tho. There may have been some hope of a .500 year without that start. Now each loss is another brick in the wall.

Which is where D.J. Carrasco comes in. After getting shelled at Colorado last week he comes out Wednesday and gives up 1 ER over 6 2/3 IP. Gobble and MacDougal mopped up the win without too much drama, for a change. And as bad as DeJesus was Tuesday, he was great Wednesday with a 4-5 game including an RBI and 2 doubles. Brown got his hit to extend his hitting streak to 16 games and Stairs had a 2-hit, 1 RBI game to chip in. Terrence Long had the other RBI on the game for KC. Costa and Castillo were the only players with 0-fers. Brown pulled a Berroa at second base on a fly ball by Stairs but made up for it somewhat with an outfield assist at home to get Stewart. KC survived leaving 11 on base as Minnesota was held to only 6 hits -- all singles. Torii Hunter didn't start for Minny and Stewart and Jacque Jones were a combined 1-7. The pitchers stepped up and the offense didn't struggle for a change. Refreshing. Plus it was all (the scoring anyway) off former Twins ace Brad Radke. At least KC wasn't 0-for-the-road-trip in wins. Of course 1-8 isn't much better.

So it's an off day tomorrow and the Angels come to town Friday. Runelvys takes the hill against Paul Byrd in the opener, which should be winnable for KC. The Angels are riding an 8-game win streak entering tonight tho and their offense is potent to say the least. The Royals, as usual, will have their work cut out for them.

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