AL Central

Kansas City Royals Hanging on to Wild Card Spot after Road Trip Ends in Sweep

Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost, center, argues with home plate umpire John Tumpane after Mike Moustakas, right, was called out on strikes during the ninth inning of the team's baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, in Baltimore. Yost was ejected. The Orioles won 6-0. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

Following Wednesday’s 6-0 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, the Kansas City Royals were held scoreless for the second time since All-Star Break.

Having won nine of their past ten games coming into the series, Kansas City was swept for the first time in the second half. The Royals have only won one game in three series at Camden Yards since 2015.

“You want to come in here and win the series,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “I don’t care about the entire road trip right now. Hopefully we start another streak back home.”

The offense only mustered three runs throughout the series, leaving 15 runners on base and hitting .214 with RISP over the past three games. Eric Hosmer was the only Royals player to collect a multi-hit game in the series, and the first baseman also extended his hitting streak to nine games.

“We definitely didn’t hit the ball well in this series,” said Mike Moustakas, who was ejected after a strikeout in the final game. “They pitched the ball great and we just didn’t have any offense going.”

Pitchers noticed mixed results throughout the series as well. Danny Duffy held the Orioles to one run over seven innings in the series opener, but Ian Kennedy and Jason Vargas fell short of quality starts in the final two games. Bullpen pitchers also allowed seven runs in less than nine innings of relief throughout the series.

Trade deadline centerpiece Melky Cabrera collected two hits in 10 at-bats in the series. Other acquisitions Ryan Buchter and Brandon Maurer worked an inning each between the final two losses.

Despite dropping four of their last five contests, the Royals are still holding on to the second Wild Card position that they overtook on July 24. Baltimore is only 2.5 games behind after the sweep, but the Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners are slightly closer the Orioles.

Kansas City also stands 2.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians for first place in the AL Central. The Royals return for six-game homestand on Thursday with games against the Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals.

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