Originally posted on Fox Sports Kansas City  |  Last updated 5/30/13
EATING CROW And so it goes when a team is cemented in a funk: Instead of a new hero each night who secures a victory, there is virtually a new culprit instead who contributes heavily toward a defeat. Wednesday night it was right-hander Aaron Crow, who entered the eighth inning with a somewhat comfortable 3-1 against St. Louis. But Crow spit back the lead quickly and thoroughly by giving up five hits and four runs his worst outing of the season. The result was a 5-3 loss, the Royals' eighth straight and 19th in their last 23 games. And the defeat put the Royals all alone in last place in the American League Central. This one may have stung more than any other recently because the Royals had it all set up according to their usual formula for winning: A solid outing by their starter, just enough runs by their lightweight offense, and a small lead turned over late to their normally solid and reliable bullpen. But Crow, who now has given up nine hits and six runs in his last three outings, fell behind hitters and had no command. And manager Ned Yost couldn't get the game to closer Greg Holland, who hasn't had a save opportunity since May 6 (that's not a typo) and Royals fans will surely remember that game that was the 2-1 loss to the White Sox that started this whole mess. "Just not many quality pitches," Yost said of Crow. Indeed there weren't. TOUGH LUCK FOR MENDY The Royals, as has been their custom during this season-turning tailspin, wasted another strong outing by a starter. Luis Mendoza held the red-hot Cardinals to just one run and six hits in 5 23 innings and left with a 2-1 lead. Mendoza had great action on his sinker and his slow, sweeping slider. And Mendoza deserves credit for standing tall during this nightmarish losing spell and trying to pick up his teammates. Mendoza also proved to Royals hitters that it's not exactly impossible to come up with a clutch hit. In the fifth inning after David Lough tripled, George Kottaras and Chris Getz each failed to situational hit and each lifted weak infield pop-ups. But just when you thought the Royals were going to waste another golden scoring chance, Mendoza delivered his first career hit, a two-out line shot over the second baseman for an RBI and a 2-0 lead. Mendoza also showed some toughness on the mound in the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out, he threw a perfect 3-2 slider to Cards pitcher Lance Lynn that should have been called strike three. Lynn was awarded a walk, and then leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter hit a perfect double-play grounder to Getz at second. Getz fumbled it, and the Royals only got one out. Instead of being rattled, Mendoza came back and struck out the dangerous Carlos Beltran. WASTED DEFENSE The Royals turned one of the most sensational double plays of the season on Tuesday in a 4-1 loss to the Cards that one was started by shortstop Alcides Escobar, who dived fully extended to his left, made a flip from his knees to Elliot Johnson, who fired a bullet to first for a double play. But that great play was largely forgotten because the Royals managed just two hits in the defeat. On Wednesday, the Royals saved three runs with great defense. First, Lough, from right field, gunned down Allen Craig, who was trying to score from second on a single in the fourth. Then in the eighth, Escobar made another spectacular diving stop up the middle, got to his feet and threw out Carpenter at first, saving two runs. But alas, those plays will be overshadowed by another stinging loss. STILL NO OFFENSE OK, it's hard to pin this loss solely on the offense, especially after Crow's awful outing. But the offense did go just two for 11 with runners in scoring position, and one of those hits, an infield squibber by Escobar, didn't plate a run. The Royals have not homered, incredibly, in 51 straight innings. That came against the Angels from Miguel Tejada, who is the only Royal to homer since May 14. Amazing and mind-boggling. And another indisputable reason the Royals' season is slipping away. The Royals have just 28 homers all season, last in the American League by a wide margin. THE HOZ HITCH I sat with an American League scout in the press box at Tuesday's game at The K, and one thing he noticed about struggling first baseman Eric Hosmer was the major hitch he has in his swing. "There are two reasons he can't catch up to a fastball," the scout said. "First, he muscles up his upper body before each swing, and that tension slows everything down, as in bat speed. And two, he has a slow hitch before he swings. Why don't they move his hands closer to the plate to start with? "And the tension part is an easy fix. You get power from your lower body. He's got that. Just loosen his top half and drive low. The hands and arms follow with better bat speed." You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email him at jeffreyflanagan6@gmail.com
Is Madison Bumgarner a bully?
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Marlins’ Dee Gordon emotional after lead-off HR

Patrice Bergeron’s worries go away with Brad Marchand’s contract signed

Report: Gabbert in danger of losing starting job to Kaepernick

John Fox won't commit to Cutler as starter when healthy

Report: Austin Sefarian-Jenkins claimed by Jets off waivers


Dez Bryant to undergo MRI after suffering knee injury

Report: Adrian Peterson determined to play again in 2016

Report: McDaniels plans to leave Pats, pursue head-coaching job

Report: Cam Newton feels good, ankle not a problem

Palmer's death brings heartfelt statements from Woods, Obama

Paul Pierce announces he will retire after upcoming season

Kevin Garnett's unique career proves anything is possible

Jose Fernandez joins tragic list of premature departures

15 greatest calls of Vin Scully's career

Week 4 in college football as explained by Queen

The good, bad, and ugly from Week 3 in the NFL season

Chris Bosh deserved more than our jokes and underappreciation

LeBron supports Kaepernick but will stand for national anthem

Ben McAdoo: Odell Beckham needs to control his emotions more

Saban rips LSU for firing Miles in middle of season

Box Score: 9/26 - Ratings, Cosell, kitties and stadium names

Ten biggest winners and losers from NFL Week 3

WATCH: What are the best WR-CB rivalries of all-time?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Kevin Garnett's unique NBA career proves anything is possible

Jose Fernandez joins tragic list of premature departures

Week 4 in college football as explained by Queen

The good, bad, and ugly from Week 3 in the NFL season

Where does Landon Donovan's return rank?

WATCH: What are the best WR-CB rivalries of all-time?

Bill Belichick may be forced to get hilariously creative to fill his quarterback slot

Five sports stadiums that should be renamed

WNBA playoffs head into second round after single eliminations

CFB Crash Course: Week 4 - No ranking is safe

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker