In 24th appearance, Scott Downs finally gives up a run

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Ryan Cook’s scoreless streak ended at 23 innings on May 28. Aroldis Chapman lost his at 29 innings on Thursday. Now Scott Downs’ streak has ended after 20 2/3 innings after he gave up his first run in earning a save against the Rockies on Sunday.

Downs was the only reliever left in the league to have spent the entire year on a roster and not given up a run.

Seattle’s Lucas Luetge, a Rule 5 pick, still has a 0.00 ERA after 14 innings, but he did allow an unearned run on April 13.

Boston’s Junichi Tazawa and Pittsburgh’s Doug Slaten have thrown the most innings in the majors without allowing a run this season: 6 1/3. Tazawa is currently back in Triple-A.

The Royals are paying everyone. Why can’t all of the other teams?

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Over the past several weeks we’ve heard a lot of news about teams furloughing front office and scouting staff, leveling pay cuts for those who remain and, most recently, ceasing stipends to minor league players and releasing them en masse. The message being sent, intentionally or otherwise, is that baseball teams are feeling the pinch.

The Kansas City Royals, however, are a different story.

Jon Heyman reported this afternoon that the Royals are paying their minor leaguers through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended, and unlike so many other teams, they are not releasing players either. Jeff Passan, meanwhile, reports that the Royals will not lay any team employees off or furlough anyone. “Nearly 150 employees will not take pay cuts,” he says, though “higher-level employees will take tiered cuts.” Passan adds that the organization intends to restore the lost pay due to those higher-level employees in the future when revenue ramps back up, making them whole.

While baseball finances are murky at best and opaque in most instances, most people agree that the Royals are one of the lower-revenue franchises in the game. They are also near the bottom as far as franchise value goes. Finally, they have the newest ownership group in all of baseball, which means that the group almost certainly has a lot of debt and very little if any equity in the franchise. Any way you slice it, cashflow is likely tighter in Kansas City than almost anywhere else.

Yet the Royals are paying minor leaguers and front office employees while a great number of other teams are not. What’s their excuse?