Royals Not Sharp in 4-2 Loss to Pirates | News
PITTSBURGH — In their first Interleague road game, the Kansas City Royals appeared disoriented and out of place, losing 4-2 to the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on Friday night.
Without a designated hitter, the Royals tried mixing it up defensively to keep the most potent bats in the lineup.
For the first time since his high school days, Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer played right field in order to keep Billy Butler’s bat in the lineup. With Butler at first base, and Hosmer in right, Jeff Francoeur moved to center field.
Hosmer was tested early, recording an error on a routine single, which allowed Pirates catcher Rod Barajas to advance to second base. An RBI single by shortstop Clint Barnes scored Barajas, after Royals C Humberto Quintero missed the tag at home plate. The Royals trailed 3-0 going into the third inning.
Kansas City pulled within a run in the top of the third after an RBI single by third baseman Mike Moustakas cut the lead to 3-2. Later that inning, Pirates RF Jose Tabata got caught in a rundown trying to steal second, which gave Pedro Alvarez plenty of time to score from third. The Pirates took a 4-2 lead, and never looked back.
Starter Luke Hochevar struggled early, but held the Pirates scoreless in the fourth, fifth, and sixth. In 6 innings, Hochevar (3-7, 6.57 ERA) surrendered four runs on nine hits, striking out three and walking one.
Clint Robinson made his major league debut, pinch hitting for Quintero in the top of the ninth. He struck out to end the game. Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan (3-0, 2.74 ERA) retired the side to record his 16th save.
The Pirates (30-27, 17-11 home) went 4-9 with runners in scoring position, while the Royals (24-32, 16-12 away) went 1-5.
Royals starter Vin Mazzaro (2-0, 2.25 ERA) takes the hill on Saturday night against Pirates starter James McDonald (5-2, 2.14 ERA) for game two at PNC Park.