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Royals 12, Padres 6: More like blowpen

Why does this keep happening?

Kansas City Royals v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

You can’t blame the Padres offense for today’s catastrophic loss. They put up six runs, half of them scored by Jose Pirela, who fell a triple short of the cycle. You can’t pin this on Miguel Diaz, even though he got the hook after just two innings and change. He threw less than fifty pitches in his first career start, and more than half of those didn’t find the strike zone. You might guess that Craig Stammen screwed this up in long relief, but he should have been in line for a win after getting Diaz out of a no-out bases loaded jam in the third and holding the Royals to a single run in three innings of work. And the defense turned three double plays, which more than makes up for their two errors.

No, there’s one very clear scapegoat this evening and that’s the bullpen. After Stammen made them look good by taking a turd and polishing it into a sparkling gem, the usually reliable late-inning arms took a steaming fresh dump right on top of it. Jose Torres and Kirby Yates probably deserve a bit of a pass, as they both recorded two outs while allowing a run. After Brad Hand stepped in to get the last two outs of the seventh, the Friars were up by one, and they tacked on two more immediately after the stretch. That’s when the Padres imploded.

Without recording a single out in the eighth, Brad Hand gave up a single, back-to-back jacks, and a double. The lead was gone, along with Hand, and the Royals still had a man sitting on second. To stop the bleeding, Andy Green turned to Jose Valdez... who promptly loaded the bases with a single and a beanball. After six batters and three runs in the inning, Valdez finally recorded an out when Cheslor Cuthbert watched strike three go by. Whit Merrifield hit a sacrifice fly, but it bounced off the top of Franchy Cordero’s glove, plating two runs and leaving the sac out of sac fly. Not content to be down three, Valdez promptly hit Jorge Bonifacio to load the bases again. If there had been any hope for a comeback, Lorenzo Cain dashed it with a grand slam to left field.

Dinelson Lamet will try not to embarrass the team in tomorrow afternoon’s rubber game. First pitch at 1:40 PM.