Kansas City Royals lose series final to track and field 7-2
The day looked so bright for the Kansas City Royals after Salvador Perez gave them a two-point lead in the first inning, but that modest lead wasn’t enough to hold back a deep and relentless Oakland Athletics lineup.
Perez only became the second wide receiver in more than 50 years with 45 homers in a season, but Athletics’ opportunistic offense scored seven or more points for the third time in the three-game series as the Royals s ‘Tilted 7-2 to a announced 11,729 at Kauffman Stadium Thursday afternoon.
The Royals (66-80) retired the rubber game of the series and finished the season series with a 2-5 record for the Athletics.
Royals starting pitcher Daniel Lynch left the match with tightness in his left calf. Lynch allowed three runs (one earned) on two hits and one walk in two innings. The left-hander did not register a third inning withdrawal before leaving the game.
“I respect the decision to pull out, obviously, but I could have stayed there and pitched if they needed to,” Lynch said of the game’s exit. “It was one of those things that was a lot more preventative.”
Lynch described himself as “optimistic” and said he expected everything to be okay. Royals manager Mike Matheny also expressed optimism after an MRI indicated Lynch only had a cramp.
Perez, who was the designated hitter, went 2 for 4 with his 45th homer of the season, while Adalberto Mondesi also went 2 for 4 in the loss.
Royals rookie catcher Sebastian Rivero recorded his first multi-stroke game in the majors with a 2-on-3 performance. Shortstop Nicky Lopez (two walks) extended his streak on base to 25 straight games.
Perez’s two-run homer in the first inning, which followed a walk by Lopez, gave the Royals an early 2-0 lead. They kept this advantage until the third round.
Lynch pitched around a start single and a batter to start the game, and he rebounded to put the team out in order in the second.
However, Lynch, one of the best young pitchers in the organization, left the game without a strikeout in the third inning after throwing a 2-2 pitch to Matt Olson with the bases loaded.
Lynch appeared to wince after throwing the pitch and head coach Nick Kenney and Matheny went to the mound immediately after the pitch.
“I felt a bit of what looked like a cramp in the first inning, and I managed to get it to work between the innings,” said Lynch. “It’s gone for the second, then I felt good before the third. Then I kind of got stuck in the sleeve there and during that batting against Olson it kind of came back and kind of persisted. It was just like a cramp.
Lynch walked out, hit a batter and allowed a single RBI in the third inning before leaving the field with Kenney. Reliever Joel Payamps entered the game in the middle of Olson’s at-bat with a 3-2 count and bases loaded.
Payamps got Olson to line up a double play for the first two strikeouts of the inning. However, Payamps propelled the next hitter and then Jed Lowrie unleashed a hot shot along the first baseline that ricocheted at Royals first baseman Ryan O’Hearn.
Second baseman Whit Merrifield lined up the ricocheted ball. It looked like he might still have had time to take the force out at first base, but he threw through the diamond in an effort to catch up with the baseline runner.
Everyone was safe and the second run of the inning scored on play. Next batter, Chad Pinder, hit a two-run single down left field. The four-run inning, which Lynch left the outing early, placed Athletics (79-67) in the driver’s seat with a 4-2 lead.
“It just wouldn’t let go,” Matheny said of Lynch’s cramp. “When something like that is grabbing, it’s hard to be very consistent with your throws. Then he just came to a place that we almost got out of. This third round is really where the game took place.
“Unfortunately, (there was) one game that wasn’t played and a three-point swing. Overall I think he did a good job. He was throwing himself in, probably more off the grid than normal. “
Athletics added three runs in the ninth inning to account for the final margin.
The Royals begin a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners Friday night at Kauffman Stadium. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. CT. The pitching game features Royals right-hander Brady Singer (4-10, 4.85 ERA) and Mariners right-hander Chris Flexen (11-6, 3.73).
This story was originally published September 16, 2021 5:36 pm.