KANSAS CITY—Bring on the Rays.
As strange as it may sound, the Kansas City Royals might actually be relieved to see the AL East leading Tampa Bay Rays come to town on Thursday night following the Royals' embarrassing performance both offensively and on the mound during their three game sweep at the hands of the Detroit Tigers.
The sweep was completed on Wednesday afternoon at Kauffman stadium, as 16,594 fans left the K disgruntled once again over their team's flat out weak performance.
Detroit will depart Kansas City to go back home following a 5-2 road trip, splitting two with Baltimore before taking all three from the Royals.
The final game of the series was over before it started.
The Royals right-handed phenom Zack Greinke took the mound on Wednesday afternoon hoping to shake off his previous start in Chicago in which he allowed five runs before recording the first out.
Needless to say, he didn't.
Before anyone watching the game could blink, the Tigers, picking up where they left off in the first two games of the series, had scored two runs in the top of the first.
Detroit's table setters Curtis Granderson and Placido Polanco quickly got on base to lead off the inning, Granderson reaching with a walk and Polanco with a soft single to right.
After striking out Carlos Guillen, Greinke surrendered an RBI single into the right center field gap by Magglio Ordonez. With Polanco at third and Ordonez at first, Greinke struck out Miguel Cabrera before catcher Miguel Olivo fired down to second base to try to catch Ordonez stealing.
Ordonez saw the strikeout and then purposely got caught in a rundown when he noticed Polanco get a big jump off third. Royals second baseman Mark Grudzielanek didn't have time to return the throw to Olivo to get Polanco at home.
Instead, he tossed to Ross Gload to tag out Ordonez for the third out, but not before surrendering the Tigers' second run of the inning.
That's all Armando Galarraga would need.
Galarraga, 8-4, started off the game retiring the first 18 batters, while needing just 64 pitches to do it.
The perfect game bid was trashed in the top of the seventh when Royals catalyst and most consistent hitter David DeJesus smoked a 3-2 fastball into right field for a single.
Following a Mike Aviles fly out and a walk to Esteban German, Galarraga surrendered an RBI single to Royals leading RBI man Jose Guillen, which effectively ended the shutout as well.
Alex Gordon followed with a single to right before Galarraga retreated to his normal self, getting out of a bases loaded jam by striking out Mark Teahen and retiring Olivo on a fly out.
Casey Fossum and Todd Jones closed out the game for the Tigers who are three games over .500 for the first time all year, at 52-49.
Galarraga got the victory while Greinke, giving up five runs in six innings, took the loss and now sits at 7-7.
Cabrera had three RBI on the day and pushed his total in the series to 10. Polanco and Ordonez also contributed to the offense, each collecting three hits.
For Kansas City, DeJesus collected two of the Royals four total hits, while Aviles' American League leading 12-game hit streak was snapped.
The Royals, 45-57, dropped to 6-3 this year against the Tigers following the three game sweep. The shaky start to the second half for KC has been contributed to both the starting pitching and the anemic offense. In the three game series against the Tigers, the Royals were outscored 33-6.
The Royals look to rebound from this shoddy performance in a weekend four-game series against Tampa Bay, starting Thursday night at 7:10. Kansas City's Gil Meche, 7-9, 4.55 ERA, will duel against the Rays' Matt Garza, who is 8-5 with a 3.68 ERA.
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