The Royals had one of the more disappointing weekends in recent memory, as the club was shut out in all three games of its weekend series against the Indians in Cleveland. On Friday, Ryan Merrit tossed 6 2/3 shutout frames for the Tribe while Joe Smith, Tyler Olson, and Cody Allen held the Royals at bay from there in a 4-0 win. On Saturday, Mike Clevenger hurled six shutout innings and was backed up by Bryan Shaw, Dan Otero, and Allen to finish the job in another 4-0 victory.
On Sunday, the Indians brought the lumber. Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana, and Yan Gomes homered — Gomes’ was a grand slam — in a 12-0 cakewalk. Carlos Carrasco limited the Royals to six hits over seven shutout innings. Craig Breslow and Zach McAllister finished the final two innings to complete the shutout sweep.
The Royals had a total of 18 hits and four walks over the three-game set, which saw 113 Royal plate appearances. Only four of those hits went for extra bases and all were doubles.
The 64-65 Royals are now nine games behind the first-place Indians in the AL Central. They’re 2.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, but are contending with a handful of other teams.
Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman strugged in Sunday afternoon’s start against the Red Sox, yielding four runs (three earned) over five innings. He fell to 2-7 with a 5.86 ERA. The Jays dropped three of four games to the Sox in the series and now sit with a 43-52 record heading into the All-Star break.
Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun reports that while Stroman was initially cool, calm, and collected when speaking to the media after the game, he eventually snapped. Stroman was asked by a reporter about breaking into professional baseball with short-season Single-A Vancouver in 2012. Stroman yelled at the reporter, noting that his team had just lost to the Red Sox, and called his team “f– terrible.” Keegan Matheson’s account of the situation lines up with Buffery’s as well.
Prior to the outburst, Stroman had just praised his teammates, saying, “My team picks me up a ton. They pick me up all year. I should be able to pitch better in times like that when my team doesn’t have my back. Because they’ve had my back a ton of times. So, love my guys on my team and like I said, I would go to war with them any day.”
Stroman will have off until Friday, so hopefully the time off helps him clear his mind. It has understandably been a frustrating season in Toronto.