Mahle, Duvall lead Reds over skidding Royals 7-0
Mahle (5-6) allowed only one runner to touch second base in 6 1/3 innings, matching his career longest start. He is 2-0 in June, allowing two earned runs and 14 hits in 16 1/3 innings.
”I was able to make big pitches, get weak contact and guys were able to make plays behind me, and I was able to hold them off long enough for us to score some runs,” Mahle said.
The Royals have lost nine of 10 and have dropped 23 of 33 home games. They have scored 11 runs in their last eight games and 23 in 12 June games. They have scored one run in the past 25 innings.
”We’ve got to be better than that,” losing pitcher Jason Hammel said. ”This losing is getting old.”
Kansas City is hitting .147 this month with runners in scoring position, including 1 for 25 in the past six games.
Duvall greeted rookie reliever Jason Adam with his second grand slam in two weeks, driving a 2-2 pitch over the left-center wall.
”He threw me a couple of curveballs earlier in that at-bat, but I knew he liked his heater,” Duvall said. ”That’s what I was looking for there. It’s a good feeling to come in here and win two.”
Hammel (2-7) allowed three runs on seven hits over 7 1/3 innings. The Royals committed three errors, including two in the seventh helping the Reds score two runs.
”I know guys are not trying to kick the ball, not try to misplay it, but at this level those things affect the outcome,” Hammel said. ”That’s the game in a nutshell.”
Alex Gordon, a five-time American League Gold Glove winner, made two defensive gems in the sixth inning. Curt Casali singled off the left-field bullpen fence and tried to stretch it into a double. Gordon threw him out from the warning track for his fifth outfield assist this season and the 85th of his career.
Two pitches later, Gordon made a diving head-first catch of Billy Hamilton’s liner to rob him of a hit.
”The first thing that went through my mind, is no wonder he’s a gold, platinum glove winner,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. ”He’s just so fantastic out there.”
Mahle retired 12 of the next 13 batters he faced after Gordon walked in the second inning.
The Royals didn’t have a runner touch second base until Whit Merrifield doubled with two out in the sixth.
Scooter Gennett had two singles, extending his hitting streak to 10 games. … Jose Peraza has reached base in 15 consecutive games. … Reliever Jared Hughes, who pitched a scoreless inning, has not allowed a run in 15 straight appearances.
Royals: 1B Lucas Duda (right foot plantar fasciitis) is doing on-the-field activity. Yost said he is hopeful Duda will go out on a minor league rehab assignment this weekend.
Reds: They are off Thursday before RHP Matt Harvey will start Friday in Pittsburgh.
Royals: After an off-day Thursday, the Royals will open a three-game home series Friday with the Houston Astros. RHP Jakob Junis will be the KC starter for the opener.