The Royals (46-83) lost 8-4 to the Cleveland Indians Thursday, allowing a tiebreaking run in the eighth inning and three more in the ninth. The defeat came one night after Kansas City, which owns the worst record in the majors, lost in 10 innings despite leading 10-1 in the first inning—the largest blown lead in franchise history.
“It seems like we just can’t stop the bleeding when they start hitting and scoring and things like that,” Kansas City manager Buddy Bell said.
Joe Nelson gave up four runs in the ninth Wednesday to send the game to extra innings, and Andrew Sisco gave up two in the 10th and was charged with the loss. On Thursday, Ambiorix Burgos was charged with three runs in the ninth and gave up two solo homers.
Burgos has blown 12 saves this season.
“I tell you what I’m going to do, I’m just going to keep sending him out there,” said Bell. “That’s what I’m going to do.”
Mike Sweeney homered for the second straight night Thursday for Kansas City, which turned two double plays and leads the majors with 155.
The Blue Jays (67-60) have dropped six of their last 10, including Wednesday’s 6-0 loss to the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics. Toronto has been shut out three times during the 10-game stretch.
Rookie starter Shaun Marcum (1-3, 6.49 ERA) will look to help Toronto bounce back in the series opener. He lost his second straight start and third straight decision on Saturday, allowing nine runs and two homers in 4 1-3 innings of a 15-0 defeat at Baltimore.
“I just wasn’t locating pitches in the first inning. They were hitting everything, no matter if they were hard or soft, they were finding some holes and gaps,” Marcum said.
Marcum, who is making his 15th appearance and eighth start of the season, is 0-3 with a 8.68 ERA in his last four starts. He has not earned a win since July 23 against the New York Yankees.
Marcum has made two career relief appearances against the Royals, throwing a total of four scoreless innings in those outings without receiving a decision.
Kansas City will counter with Luke Hudson (6-4, 5.77), who allowed one run in seven innings of last Friday’s 7-1 win over the Oakland Athletics in the first game of a doubleheader. He bounced back nicely after giving up 11 runs while recording just one out in a 13-0 loss at Cleveland on Aug. 13—the most runs allowed in an opening inning since Brooklyn scored 12 off Boston’s Kid Nichols on Sept. 21, 1897.
“It was so bad last time I had to take some jokes and laugh about it,” said Hudson, who had won three straight starts before the meltdown. “I just had to let it go. I’m not going to let that get me. They told me that the last time it happened was a century ago.”
Hudson was given some extra rest in between starts because manager Buddy Bell felt he seemed somewhat tired—meaning that Hudson didn’t get a chance to face Cleveland again this week. He made his only career start against the Blue Jays on July 7, allowing one run in five innings of a 13-3 victory.