The Royals were swept in their three-game series at Oakland after a 4-3 loss on Sunday. The Royals scored a total of five runs in the three games, losing the first two by 2-1 scores.
They have lost six of their past seven games at Oakland, scoring 12 runs in those games.
While the Royals continue to get quality starting pitching, the offense continues to sputter scoring runs.
The Royals were seven games above .500 on May 5, but since have since lost 10 of 13 to drop to .500. The last time the Royals were at .500 was April 7, when they were 3-3. They have not won back-to-back games since May 4-5.
So the Astros, who are considered to be one of the worst clubs in the history of the majors, are next up for the Royals with a three-game series beginning Monday.
Anything less than a sweep would be considered a disappointment and the pitiful Astros' pitching might be just what the Royals need to awaken the slumbering bats.
Right-handers Jeremy Guthrie, Wade Davis and James Shields will start the three games in Houston.
Kelvin Herrera, who continues to struggle in keeping the ball in the park, yielded a tiebreaking home run to Yoenis Cespedes in the eighth inning. It was the eighth home run Herrera has allowed this season.
Alex Gordon went 4-for-5 in the Sunday loss to raise his average to .353. Since being moved from leading off to third in the order on May 9, Gordon is 18-for-40 (.450).
But others are not hitting, most notably Mike Moustakas and Jeff Francoeur.
Third baseman Moustakas is 1-for-25 on this trip and hitless in his past 15 at-bats to drop his average to .178. He grounded out to end the game Sunday with runners on second and third.
Francoeur is hitless in his past 12 at-bats, tumbling his average to .209.
NEXT: Royals (Jeremy Guthrie, 5-1, 2.82) at Astros (Dallas Keuchel, 0-1, 4.82)
OF Alex Gordon is hitting .343 after going 4-for-5, his 20th multiple hit game of the season. He has a seven-game hitting streak and is 18 of his last 40, an average of .450 in those games since moving to the No. 3 spot in the batting order May 9. He also leads the majors in hits with two outs, 26 of 52 (.500).
RHP Jeremy Guthrie has the 12th-best ERA in the AL (2.82). His only loss this season, Tuesday against the Angels, halted his KC franchise record of 18 consecutive starts without a defeat. He has a 2-0 record with a 3.68 ERA in three starts against Houston, winning twice last year when he was with the Rockies.
IF Chris Getz returned to the lineup for the first time since Monday and, batting ninth in the order, had two hits and an RBI and scored a run. His average, while hardly outstanding, was lifted from .193 to .209, and he gives the Royals stability at second. He is now 6-for-46 in his last 15 games.
OF David Lough had a tough three games after being recalled from Omaha and being inserted into the starting lineup at center field on Friday night, although his double drove in KC's lone run that game. Sunday, playing center, he let a ball get past him for a two-base error in the seventh inning, which enabled the tying run to score.
OF Jeff Francoeur went 0-for-7 the last two games and is hitting under .100 for May. Whether he continues starting in right field is a question manager Ned Yost must consider. His glove and arm compensate for his failures at the plate. Last year, he led the major leagues with 19 assists.
RHP Luis Mendoza held the A's scoreless through three innings Sunday, going into the seventh and permitting only two earned runs. But he couldn't do much about CF David Lough making an error in the seventh inning, which may have cost him and the Royals the game.
"Our starting pitcher (RHP Luis Mendoza) did so well. We've been struggling to score runs. We finally put some runs on the board, and we lose. That's baseball."—Manager Ned Yost, after the Royals fell to the A's 4-3 Sunday. KC suffered three one-run losses to Oakland over the weekend, the first two by scores of 2-1.
CF Jarrod Dyson (sprained ankle) left the May 15 game. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 17, retroactive to May 16. Dyson is expected to miss two-to-four weeks.
LHP Danny Duffy (Tommy John surgery in June 2012) went on the 15-day disabled list March 31. He threw 15 pitches in an extended spring training game in Arizona in late April. He is on schedule to pitch five innings by June 13, the one-year anniversary of his surgery.
RHP Felipe Paulino (Tommy John surgery in July 2012) went on the 60-day list Feb. 12. He threw 20 batting practice pitches the week of April 22. Paulino is out of options, so he can only pitch with a minor league affiliate for 30 days if he goes on a rehab assignment.
RHP James Shields
RHP Ervin Santana
RHP Jeremy Guthrie
RHP Wade Davis
RHP Luis Mendoza
RHP Greg Holland (closer)
RHP Aaron Crow
RHP Kelvin Herrera
LHP Tim Collins
RHP Luke Hochevar
LHP Bruce Chen
RHP J.C. Gutierrez
1B Eric Hosmer
2B Chris Getz
SS Alcides Escobar
3B Mike Moustakas
DH Billy Butler
INF Miguel Tejada
LF Alex Gordon
CF Lorenzo Cain
RF Jeff Francoeur
OF David Lough
OF/INF Elliot Johnson