KANSAS CITY — Someday soon, the Royals’ struggling offense is bound to break out.
That day wasn’t Tuesday as they mustered just four hits in a 4-1 loss to the Rangers at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals have lost eight straight and 14 of 15.
The primary culprit has been the offense, which has scored 24 runs in the past 13 games. Only the Orioles (255) have scored fewer runs in the American League this season than the Royals (265).
Newcomer Rosell Herrera, acquired off waivers recently from the Reds, tried to provide a spark, recording two hits and an RBI.
“Nice job by him,” manager Ned Yost said. “This is exciting to see a young kid come up. He’s a switch-hitter, got a couple of hits against a quality pitcher like Cole Hamels, and made some nice plays in the outfield.”
But the Royals managed just an unearned run through seven innings against Hamels, who struck out seven, and the Rangers’ bullpen closed out the victory.
Royals starter Jason Hammel came into the game having gone 2-2 with a 2.56 ERA in his previous five starts. But the Rangers nicked him for two runs in each of the second and third innings.
The big blow in the second was Delino DeShields’ two-run double.
Hammel lasted 5 2/3 innings and gave up nine hits, four walks and four runs. He also struck out four.
“The first few innings, I was sweating a lot,” Hammel said. “I was having trouble gripping the ball, so just getting through that. Kind of when I ran out of sweat, I was able to feel the ball again and make more effective pitches. But [no] excuses. Just got to execute better. There was four walks, three of them come around to score. That’s the thing that’ll irk me tonight while I’m sleeping, trying to sleep.”