KANSAS CITY- 14,137 fans showed up Monday night at Kauffman Stadium, the home of the Royals, in hopes that their boys in blue would continue hitting well and take their seventh game in seven tries against the Detroit Tigers, a team whose payroll doubles that of the Royals.
Ehh, not so much.
Detroit 19, Kansas City 4.
The game ended mercifully with about 1,000 die-hard (<take that however you want) fans scattered around the stadium, likely about half asleep in their respective seats.
The 9th inning did present some high points for Kansas City fans, however, because struggling shortstop Tony Pena Jr., a .152 hitter in over 180 at bats for the Royals this year, got a chance to take the mound in order to stop the bleeding in the Royals 'pen. Pena's first career appearance as a pitcher proved impressive, as not only did he collect a 1-2-3 inning, but he also buckled longtime major league catcher Pudge Rodriguez, a guy who has over 2,500 hits in his career, with a nasty curveball to record Pena's first career strikeout- pitching, that is.
That was about it for the high points on this night for Kansas City.
Detroit's offensive attack was led by the $21 million dollar man Miguel Cabrera, who collected five hits, including two doubles, and six runs batted in. Utility man Carlos Guillen and centerfielder Curtis Granderson each had three hits, and between the two of them scored nine of the Tigers' 19 runs. Rookie outfielder Matt Joyce continued his smashing of the Royals this year, collecting four hits, including his 10th homerun of the year (third against KC), three runs scored and five runs batted in.
Too little too late would be an understatement for the Royals offense, as they waited until trailing by 19 runs to muster up some of their own. Five consecutive hits in the bottom of the eighth led to the Royals four runs. Rookie middle infielder Mike Aviles extended his hitting streak to 11 games, going 2-for-4 with a double.
Tigers pitcher Zach Miner, 4-3, got the win in going six scoreless innings just a day after his recall from the minors. Royals rookie and former first round draft pick Luke Hochevar took the loss, although his line of giving up seven earned runs in five innings wasn't quite as bad as reliever Jimmy Gobble's, which was-Royals fans might want to stop reading here-1 IP, 10 ER. Gobble gave up seven hits and four walks, before Royals manager Trey Hillman couldn't take it anymore and lifted him for Leo Nunez. Thought a 7.99 ERA could only get better? Think again. Following Monday night's performance, Gobble's ERA sits at an abysmal 11.31.
The best thing about a 15 run loss in baseball? There's always tomorrow.