The KC Royals got off to a quick start, but ended up losing to the visiting Chicago Cubs, 7-3.
Alcides Escobar led off the bottom of the first with a home run. However, that was one of two highlights of the game. The offense collected just four hits (two coming late in the game by minor leaguers), though Cubs pitchers issued seven walks. The Royals offense hit into two double plays.
The other highlight was the debut of Nate Karns, who the Royals acquired from Seattle for Jarrod Dyson late this offseason. Karns threw two hitless innings, striking out three. He also induced three ground outs.
But then the Royals defense committed two errors, which cost them two runs. Also, veteran relievers fighting for a spot in the bullpen gave up five of the seven runs across three innings.
One of the two errors made a loser of Jake Junis, who pitched two innings (the third and fourth). He allowed two hits in the third and with two outs, Junis got a fly ball to left. However, Paulo Orlando dropped the ball and a run scored. A wild pitch followed, scoring another run. Junis fell victim to another fielding error in the fourth, but induced a ground out to end the inning with runners at second and third base.
After Scott Alexander worked a scoreless 5th inning, Jonathan Sanchez allowed three straight one out singles to drive in a run in the sixth. In the 7th inning, Brandon League forced in a run by walking the bases loaded.
After Chris Withrow threw a scoreless eighth, Bobby Parnell allowed four straight one out hits and a sac fly as the Cubs scored three more runs.
I mentioned two hits late in the game by minor leaguers. Second baseman Corey Toups doubled and with two outs in the 8th inning and Samir Duenez drove him in with a single.
In the 9th inning, the Royals had the bases loaded on three straight walks with no outs and Garin Cecchini grounded into a double play to force in a run.
*The Royals host Colorado tomorrow afternoon. Chris Young will get the start, followed by Travis Wood.