KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Late in yet another lost season, an announced crowd of 22,960 fans showed up at Kauffman Stadium, on an NFL Sunday to boot, to see the out-of-contention Royals meet the pitiful Cleveland Indians, who had lost 40 of their previous 52 games.
Mostly to see the Royals' future, as in rookie Jake Odorizzi, the right-handed prospect acquired in the Zack Greinke trade and quite possibly the team's most promising young pitcher in decades.
This is how eager (desperate?) Royals fans are for some glimmer of hope.
And Odorizzi did not disappoint in his major-league debut.
Odorizzi, 22, overmatched the Indians through five shutout innings, giving up just two hits while walking one and striking out three. But in the sixth inning, Odorizzi faded slightly, surrendering a ground-ball triple down the right-field line, a sharp single to right and then a two-run bomb to Carlos Santana that sailed into the right-field bullpen.
Odorizzi gave up another single before...