Flanagan: Chen’s magnificence wasted in loss

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There’s almost no explaining the incredible run Royals left-hander Bruce Chen is on. Chen was brilliant again Tuesday night, throwing seven shutout innings. And now his ERA is 0.93 through six starts since returning to the rotation.

Unfortunately, the Royals’ offense again let him down, coming up with zilch in a rather discouraging 1-0 loss in 10 innings to the lowly Marlins on Tuesday night.

To be fair, the Royals were facing young Marlins phenom Jose Fernandez, who gave up just three hits in seven innings. But Chen matched him inning for inning, hoping the Royals would get to the shaky Marlins pen.

That never happened.

“Bruce was simply phenomenal,” manager Ned Yost said.

The Royals, who usually have had one signature offensive moment each game during their 19-6 post All-Star break stretch, appeared primed to do damage in the seventh. Billy Butler walked against Marlins reliever Mike Dunn, but Alex Gordon fanned (not a good at-bat) and David Lough sent a weak fly to left.

Alcides Escobar singled to put Butler at second — the only runner in scoring position for the Royals all night. But George Kottaras sent a weak fly to left-center to end the inning.

The Royals did not threaten again.

Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera gave up the only run in the 10th inning on a shirt-nicking hit by pitch, a stolen base and a soft single in the hole between first and second.

“They got a little lucky tonight,” Herrera said. “We’ll get them tomorrow.”

You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email him at jeffreyflanagan6@gmail.com