Opinion

Reeling Royals turn to James Shields as White Sox come to town

Kansas City Royals’ Lorenzo Cain walked off the field after striking out with the bases loaded, ending the game, as the Boston Red Sox won 8-4 on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
Kansas City Royals’ Lorenzo Cain walked off the field after striking out with the bases loaded, ending the game, as the Boston Red Sox won 8-4 on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. The Kansas City Star

The Royals are reeling.

There is little other way to spin this. In the past week, they’ve ceded control of the American League Central, lost five of their last seven games and on Sunday witnessed an ugly defeat to the lowly Red Sox.

In order to retain their hold on the second Wild Card spot, the club must stabilize. They also must hope Seattle continues to struggle. The Mariners start a crucial series in Anaheim, the class of the American League, on Monday night.

The Royals begin a season of their own. They host Chicago for three nights. Kansas City is 8-4 against the White Sox this season. They need to continue that trend this week at Kauffman Stadium, because Detroit comes to town on Friday.

James Shields prevented the team from being swept at Comerica Park. He’ll need to cease another skid on Monday.

Here are the matchups for these three games against the White Sox:

Monday, 7:10 p.m.: LHP John Danks (9-11, 5.05 ERA) vs. RHP James Shields (14-7, 3.13 ERA).

Tuesday, 7:10 p.m.: RHP Chris Bassit (0-1, 4.73 ERA) vs. TBA (Likely Danny Duffy).

Wednesday, 7:10 p.m.: LHP Chris Sale (12-3, 1.99 ERA) vs. RHP Yordano Ventura (12-10, 3.27 ERA).

FROM THE STAR

In a moment when urgency should have trumped orthodoxy, Ned Yost declined to break from routine. His decision to use Aaron Crow backfired, and the Royals dropped their third game in four chances against a last-place club.

THE ROYALS’ PLAYOFF PERCENTAGE (ACCORDING TO BASEBALL PROSPECTUS)

64.9 percent.

THE STANDINGS IN THE AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL

KC trails Detroit by 1.5 games.

THE STANDINGS IN THE WILD CARD RACE

KC leads Seattle by one game for the second Wild Card.

HERE IS SOME ROCK MUSIC

Glide” by Fennesz.

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4370 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @McCulloughStar.

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