On Thursday night, the KC Royals bullpen faltered again, as they lost 7-6 to the visiting LA Angels in the first game of the four-game series.
It was the second straight tough game for the Royals bullpen. Wednesday was their first loss in 111 straight when leading after seven innings.
The loss came after receiving six solid innings from Jeremy Guthrie (one run on two hits and three walks).
It seems the bullpen struggles are even filtering down to Wade Davis and Greg Holland.
Davis, who has been dealing with back issues, pitched for the first time since August 6th. He entered in the 8th inning with a 5-1 lead and immediately allowed a single to Kole Calhoun. Mike Trout then doubled him in and scored on the second of two straight ground outs.
It was the first time since April 2014 that Davis allowed more than two runs in an outing.
Holland entered in the ninth for the save with a 5-3 lead (he had not pitched since Saturday). It all started with a leadoff single by former Royal David DeJesus followed by a walk. After a wild pitch, pinch-hitter CJ Cron doubled in two runs to tie the game.
Former Royal Johnny Giavotella singled before Calhoun doubled in two runs to give the Angels the lead. After walking Trout, manager Ned Yost finally pulled Holland and lefty Franklin Morales retired the next three hitters without allowing another run.
I guess it’s good to get the bad games out now when they have a double-digit lead in the division, rather than the playoffs.
Lefty John Lamb, who the Royals traded to Cincinnati for Johnny Cueto, will actually make his Major League debut tonight against the LA Dodgers (the Royals called him up right after the All-Star break for a DH but never used him).
Reds manager Bryan Price stated that this is a “well-earned opportunity” for Lamb.
Lamb will wear Cueto’s number 47.
In three starts with Triple-A Louisville, Lamb was 1-1 with a 2.65 ERA. Over 17 innings, he allowed 14 hits (a .222 batting average). He did walk seven while striking out 21.
The Reds will host the Royals next Tuesday and Wednesday, but with the Monday off day, Lamb will not face his former team (he will start Thursday against Arizona if he stays in the rotation).
Cueto will also miss pitching against his former team, as he starts on Saturday for the Royals. Edinson Volquez will however face his former teammates on Wednesday.
Lamb (and Brandon Finnegan’s) lockermate with Louisville, reliever Sam LeCure, tweeted about Lamb’s promotion on Thursday night:
I’m excited for him to FINALLY make his debut (and in his home state). Hopefully it is a good one and he sticks for the rest of the season.