Darrell May is as much haunted by 19 losses as he is 20.
May, a 32-year-old left-hander, didn’t figure in the decision in his last start—the Royals’ 7-6 win over Tampa Bay on Wednesday—and remains one loss away from tying Paul Splittorf’s team record of 19 losses set in 1974. May, who is 9-18, gave up five runs and eight hits over six innings. He is winless over his last seven starts, including six losses, with an 8.03 ERA.
“Fortunately we scored more than they did,” May said. “The team won, and that’s all that matters.”
With two more losses, May will join Detroit’s Mike Maroth as the only pitchers to lose 20 games in a season since 1980. Maroth lost 21 last year for the Tigers. If May loses Tuesday, he would be in line to take the mound against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday—the last day of the regular season.
The Royals carried a 1-0 lead into the eighth inning on Monday, but their bullpen fell apart as the Indians scored four in the ninth to win 6-1. Kansas City must win its final six games to avoided tying the franchise record of 100 losses, set two years ago.
The Indians have won five of seven and trail the White Sox by 2 1/2 games in the race for second place in the AL Central.
Casey Blake, who went 3-for-5 with three RBIs on Monday, has at least one hit in 12 of his last 13 games, batting .354 (17-for-48) with one home run and nine RBIs during that span.