Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Rangers at Royals

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Rangers at Royals

Article excerpt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Home is where the Kansas City Royals have played their best this season, so they at least had that entering a crucial three-game series against Cleveland.

It didn't prove to be much of an advantage because the Indians have something the Royals don't: an outstanding starting rotation. While Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco shut the Royals down over six innings, Royals starter Ian Kennedy struggled, giving up seven runs in an 11-4 loss Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium that put the Royals (47-47) nine games back of the Indians in the AL Central, and a once- promising season is showing signs of slipping away.

Two years ago, the Royals were two games under .500 on July 21 before they caught fire and made the postseason. And they are now clinging that the same came happen in 2016.

"They know that we've been through it before," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "They know that we can come through it."

The defending World Series champs largely have the same roster that pushed them to being the best team in baseball last year but there are some missing pieces, which has changed the complexion of the team and contributed to its recent lack of success.

Lorenzo Cain is still out with a hamstring injury, Mike Moustakas is out for the year with a torn ACL and Alex Gordon, who missed a month with a wrist injury, is not hitting. But those problems pale in comparison to the team's struggles on the mound.

Kennedy, who was signed in the offseason for $70 million to eat innings and stabilize the rotation, struck out eight but gave up four home runs, including two in a seven-run Cleveland fifth inning. Kennedy (6-8) entered the game with a 2.11 ERA at home but couldn't get out of the fifth.

"It was a weird game," Kennedy said.

So Yost handed the ball to reliever Peter Moylan, but he didn't fare much better. Moylan soon gave up a three-run homer to Cleveland center fielder Tyler Naquin, his second homer of the game. Naquin had three hits and six RBIs for the Indians. In all, Moylan gave up four runs and recorded one out.

Carrasco (7-3) meanwhile gave up just one hit and struck out six, putting forth the type of performance the Royals wished they could get more often. …

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