Royals fall below .500 in title defense with loss to Rangers

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(KANSAS CITY, Mo., AP) — With the Aug. 1 trade deadline approaching next week, the World Series champion Kansas City Royals may be sellers instead of buyers.
Delino DeShields homered in the seventh inning to break a tie and the Texas Rangers beat the Royals 2-1 on Sunday.
The loss dropped the Royals to 48-49, the first time the World Series champions have been below .500 since May 15. The Royals have lost 13 of 19 games in July and have not won back-to-back games June 29-30.
For Kansas City, it might already be too late to find another gear for a postseason push.
“We thought about that like three weeks ago,” Yost said. “We can think it all we want. That doesn’t help you. We’ve got to get it going.”
The Royals are in third place in the AL Central, eight games behind Cleveland. They are in seventh place in the wild card race, six games back.
Royals starter Edinson Volquez left after six innings and 91 pitches, allowing one run and seven hits while walking three and striking out three. It was Volquez’s fifth straight start pitching at least six innings and he has a 2.87 ERA in that span.
“We know what we can do and we never give up,” Volquez said. “We’re going to be all right. We’re going to make some adjustments and win games I believe.”
Volquez is eligible for free agency after this season and could be traded at the deadline. He stranded runners at third base to end the third, fourth and fifth innings.
“He pitched in and out of trouble all day long, a fantastic job,” Yost said.
DeShields, who was recalled Thursday from Triple-A Round Rock, walked and doubled before leading off the seventh with his third home run. DeShields hit a 2-1 pitch from Luke Hochevar out to left.
Hochevar (2-3) took the loss and has allowed six runs in 6 1/3 innings in July.
“It was a four-seam fastball and it just took off and ran back over the plate,” Hochevar said of DeShields’ home run. “Trying to go down and away with that and it just ran middle.”
Left-hander Alex Claudio (2-1) picked up the win, pitching a scoreless sixth.
Rangers relievers Claudio, Keone Kela, Jake Diekman and Sam Dyson held the Royals scoreless the final four innings.
Dyson earned his 20th save in 22 opportunities, but not before allowing two singles and taking Paulo Orlando’s liner off his right shoulder.
The Rangers broke through with a clutch hit in the sixth when Mitch Moreland’s two-out single scored Adrian Beltre, who began the inning with a single.
Rangers right-hander A.J. Griffin left after allowing four hits in five innings, including Kendrys Morales’ home run in the fourth inning. Morales had three of the Royals’ seven hits.
C Salvador Perez was not in the Royals lineup for the first time since July 3 with Drew Butera behind the plate with a day game after a night game. Perez was in a 2-for-23 skid with eight strikeouts and no walks over six games before delivering a pinch-hit single in the ninth.
3B Cheslor Cuthbert went 0 for 4, snapping his 12-game hitting streak, the longest by a Royals rookie since Mike Moustakas’ 15-game streak in 2011.
Rangers: General manager Jon Daniels said he anticipates LHP Derek Holland and RHP Colby Lewis will return to the rotation on Aug. 20 and 21, the dates they are eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list.
Royals: OF Lorenzo Cain (left hamstring strain) ran before the game. “He’s making progress,” Yost said. “We’ll evaluate it tomorrow.”
Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy, who starts Monday against the Angels, allowed four home runs in a loss Wednesday to the Indians and is tied with teammate Chris Young in allowing a major league-high 26 homers. Los Angeles sends out RHP Hector Santiago.