KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals keep finding new ways to extend their losing streak.
Eric Hosmer hit into a triple play, the first time the Royals have done that in 33 years, in a 4-3 loss Friday night to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Royals have dropped eight straight, their longest skid since losing 10 in a row from July 10-24, 2010.
Kansas City had runners on first and second in the third inning when Hosmer lined out to first baseman Adam Lind, who stepped on the bag to double off Yuniesky Betancourt. Lind then fired to shortstop Yunel Escobar to retire Alex Gordon, who had strayed off second.
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It was Toronto’s first triple play since Sept. 21, 1979, against the New York Yankees. Al Cowens was the previous Royals batter to hit into a triple play on June 19, 1979, against Oakland.
“Not much is going right,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “The baserunning cost us on the triple play. Lind caught it at ground level. Alex just took one step too far. We can’t really catch a break. Sometimes you have to go out and grab the momentum and so far we haven’t done it.”
For the Royals, who have had only one winning season since 1994, it was just another frustrating way to lose.
“That’s kind of the way things are going for us right now,” Hosmer said. “It’s been that way the last couple of weeks. It was a big situation, first and second. It was one tough break. It’s the first in my lifetime. He threw a fastball in. I saw it good and put a good swing on it. It’s obviously not the result we wanted.”
Royals starter Luke Hochevar was working on six days’ rest because of a bruised left ankle sustained when he was hit by a line drive in his previous start. He came out after 84 pitches and five innings, although he had allowed just one run and two hits, when the ankle began to bother him.
“It’s the same limp,” Yost said. “He really wanted to go back out, but we decided to take him out. I noticed it when he covered first base and when he was walking in. At this point in the season, we don’t need to let something like that linger.”
The Royals took a 2-1 lead into the eighth when Greg Holland, the fourth Kansas City pitcher, threw only seven strikes in 22 pitches. He gave up three runs on three hits, two walks and a balk without retiring a batter.
“The eighth inning did us in for sure,” Yost said. “Greg couldn’t command the ball. He hasn’t hit his stride yet this year. He was very good for us last year.”
Colby Rasmus led off the inning with a double. J.P. Arencibia, who was hitting .132, delivered an RBI single.
Holland (0-2) walked Escobar and Kelly Johnson on eight pitches to load the bases, and Jose Bautista’s sharp single to right scored pinch-runner Rajai Davis with the go-ahead run. Edwin Encarnacion’s sacrifice fly drove in Johnson to make it 4-2.
Kyle Drabek’s wild pitch with two outs in the fourth allowed Jeff Francoeur to score, putting Kansas City up 2-0. Mike Moustakas homered in the second for the first Kansas City run.
Luis Perez (2-0) replaced Drabek, who threw only 49 strikes in 100 pitches over 5 1-3 innings, and worked 1 2-3 scoreless innings to pick up the victory. Sergio Santos got his second save in four tries, but allowed an RBI single to Betancourt.
“The third-inning triple play is something of a rarity, for sure,” Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.
So are victories for the Royals this season.
NOTES: Royals CF Lorenzo Cain, on the disabled list with a strained left groin, could report Saturday to Double-A Northwest Arkansas to start a minor league rehab assignment. … Kansas City RHP Felipe Paulino threw three innings at extended spring training in Surprise, Ariz. Yost said Paulino would probably make a rehab start next week for Northwest Arkansas. “We’re close on both guys,” Yost said. … Blue Jays RHP Drew Hutchinson, who has never pitched above Double-A and went 14-5 with a 2.53 ERA in three minor league stops, will make his major league debut Saturday against the Royals. “We’ve got a ton of scouting reports on the guy,” Yost said. “We’ve got reports from the minute he signed, every year. We do have some minor league video we can look at. In this age of technology, there’s just no way around not getting 90 percent of the information that you need to get an idea. It still helps to see him in real life.” … The Royals traded RHP Zach Miner to the Detroit Tigers for cash. Miner is 25-20 with a 4.24 ERA in the majors, all with the Tigers, but has not pitched in the big leagues since 2009.