Last week, Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer found himself mired in a 6 for 31 (.194) slump. He’d kept his head above water just barely, avoiding hitless games all but once in an eight-game span that began April 16.
Things haven’t improved tremendously since a 5-2 loss in Chicago against the White Sox 10 days later. The Royals still haven’t won 10 games, and Hosmer has yet to break the .250 mark.
Still, Kansas City’s cleanup hitter has seen his batting average jump 50 points — from .192 on April 24 to .242 after Wednesday’s 6-1 win over the Chicago White Sox.
It’s not much. But it is a start.
“I’ve been feeling better and better,” Hosmer said. “I think we like where we are as an offense as of tonight. We’ve just got to continue to keep pushing through and got to win a series tomorrow.”
Seven days ago against the very same White Sox the Royals beat for the second time in three games at Kauffman Stadium, Hosmer put together a 3 for 5 day at the plate in the middle of his team’s seven-game losing streak. It was just his second multihit game of the season.
Try as he might that day on Chicago’s South Side, Hosmer could not stop the Royals from continuing to dive deeper into the American League Central cellar.
But he could keep himself from falling further into the spiral the Royals as a team were descending.
Since going hitless on April 24, Hosmer has strung together a seven-game hitting streak in which he’s slashing .385/.414/.577 (10 for 26) with one home run and four RBIs.
He would have had two homers and five RBIs if the thick air at Kauffman Stadium hadn’t weighted down a line drive to deep center field Wednesday night that Leury Garcia pulled down for an out at the fence. Lorenzo Cain scored the third run of the sixth inning on the sacrifice fly that was projected to travel 410 feet.
Hosmer is at least starting to heat up, which in turn has sparked the middle third of the order. And manager Ned Yost is glad to see it.
“Hos 2 for 2 with a nice walk,” Yost said. “Any other night where it’s not so damp and heavy air, that ball is out of the ballpark. He swung the bat really well. … Things are looking up.”