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Royals lose fifth straight game as they lose 12-2 

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This is their second-worst 18-game start in their history

KANSAS CITY, MO – APRIL 18: Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Brad Keller (56) throws in the first inning of an MLB game between the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals on April 18, 2023, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Brad Keller started the game with five straight balls, including one that whizzed over the head of Trevor Semien 

That first pitch was a look ahead to what would come for the rest of the game. The Royals had trouble with walking batters all night. Six of the runs that would come into score got on base by walking. A seventh was hit by a pitch. Keller walked five batters. 

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Royals Manager Matt Quatraro said that Keller was off his game from the first pitch.

“He didn’t have the best command,” Quatraro said. “You could tell right from the get-go. That’s unlike him to his credit; he (worked a) 13 pitch first inning and then battled to compete but just couldn’t quite get his release point or whatever it was command mechanics.” 

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Despite the first-inning walk, Keller did work out of the first inning with no damage being done on the scoreboard. 

Bobby Whitt Jr. started the night off correctly with a hard-hit ball to the right field corner. The ball hit the tip of the glove of the right fielder. Whitt Jr. turned on the jets and zoomed around the base paths for him to get a stand-up triple. 

MJ Melendez had a quality at-bat; he would drive in a run with a sac fly to left field. For only the second time in the year, Kansas City had the lead after the first inning.

The Rangers tied the game in the third inning. The inning started with back-to-back walks to the eight and nine hitters. After an amazing catch by right fielder Melendez, the walks came back to hurt the Royals.

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After a six-pitch at-bat, Jankowski singled to right field, bringing in both the batters walked by Keller. More damage was done in the top of the fourth inning. 

In the fourth inning, Keller walked back-to-back batters for the second time, and a passed ball moved the runners to second and third. To prevent more runs from scoring, the Royals brought the infield in, and that ended up hurting Kansas City. Ezequiel Duran hit a soft fly ball hit to shallow center field was too much ground to cover for Kyle Isbel. The Rangers took the lead. 

A miss play by Whitt Jr. caused another run to score with the runner in motion, Whitt Jr. went to cover second base, but the ground ball was hit where he was standing. In a quick motion, he was able to put on the brakes and snag the ground ball to toss to second to get the lead runner, but not in time to get the inning-ending double play. That push the lead to 3-1 

Kansas City did respond but added a run off of a fielder’s choice ground ball.

Because of his lack of command, the Royals had to turn to their bullpen early in the game. Jose Cuas pitched a scoreless fifth inning, but the Rangers’ offense picked back up in the sixth.

The Rangers exploded their lead in the sixth inning Carlos Hernandez was set to pitch in the sixth, and while he had no trouble finding the strike zone, the Rangers had no trouble hitting him around. The Rangers loaded the bases with three singles. Sandy Leon would drive in two runs with a fourth straight single. He then gave up a three-run home run. Hernandez faced five batters and gave up five runs.

The Rangers had one more big inning. In the top of the eighth inning, Josh Staumont faced two batters, hitting one and walking the other. Josh Taylor walked his first batter loading the bases. A sacrifice fly brought in one run, and then a 400-foot three-run home run to left field gave the Rangers a 12-2 lead. 

This 10-run loss puts Kansas City at a -42 run differential on the season and gives them another series loss on the year. The Royals’ offense continues to sputter with runners in scoring position  

 

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