The Kansas City Royals are a young team prone to mistakes. Those gaffes are magnified against the top teams in the league.
On Sunday, the Royals were taught a valuable lesson after being swept by the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Brewers outclassed the Royals in the third inning. With Kansas City making some inexplicable errors, the Brewers scored seven runs en route to a 9-6 victory on Mother’s Day.
Milwaukee collected six hits, including three home runs, in front of 33,188 fans at American Family Field.
The Royals fell to 12-30 this season. They have lost the 12 of 14 series to begin the 2023 campaign.
How the third inning unfolded
The Brewers were down 4-1 entering the pivotal third inning.
Yelich, who’d already homered off Lyles in the first inning after hitting a pair of home runs Saturday, collected an RBI single as Taylor scored. Wiemer advanced to third base on the play.
Then the floodgates opened.
Yelich stole second base and advanced to third after Royals shortstop Maikel Garcia botched the throw at second. The baseball bounced off his glove and sailed into center field. Yelich coasted into third with a feet-first slide and Wiemer scored during the chaos.
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) May 14, 2023
Royals outfielder Nate Eaton tried to throw out Yelich at third. But the ball squirted past third baseman Hunter Dozier, allowing the Brewers to tie the game as Yelich motored home
“The throw was heading right towards Yelich as he was sliding,” Dozier said. “It was a lot going on at the time. He’s sliding and the ball is coming in right at him. At that point, I’m not going (to be able to) tag him out. I was trying to block it up.”
Garcia and Eaton were both charged with errors on the play. And Milwaukee wasn’t done with its scoring barrage.
Later in the inning, Brewers second baseman Brice Turang hit a three-run homer to effectively put the game out of reach.
“The walks really came back to hurt us,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “It wasn’t a very clean inning, defensively or pitching. They earned it with some well hit balls. We definitely helped.”
Jordan Lyles falters in early exit
Lyles worked just 2 2/3 innings Sunday.
He allowed seven runs on four hits while issuing three walks and striking out two. He relied primarily on his changeup, and that led to trouble against the Brewers’ lineup.
The Brewers put six of those changeups into play. Yelich’s home run came on an 87 mph offering. His single was also on a changeup thrown at 85.9 mph.
Lyles said he felt like his changeup was fine. He worked on the pitch ahead of his start and tried to utilize it more against the left-handed hitters in the Brewers’ lineup.
Instead, Lyles was disappointed with the walks that contributed to the hosts’ decisive frame.
“The other walks is what haunts you,” Lyles said. “It doesn’t sit well.”
The Royals didn’t muster much offense after the third inning. Their lineup went cold after a strong start to the afternoon.
Catcher Salvador Perez provided KC an early lead with a home run. The Royals extended their advantage on shortstop Bobby Witt Jr.’s two-run double.
Royals extend HR streak with 3 blasts
Perez hit his ninth home run Sunday afternoon. The blast came in the first inning to give the Royals an early lead.
Perez has now homered in consecutive games after missing the series opener with blurry vision.
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) May 14, 2023
His Sunday homer traveled 433 feet and exited the field of play over the center-field wall. It had a 106.8 mph exit velocity when it left the bat.
The Royals have now homered in 13 consecutive games.
In the ninth inning, Dozier and Witt hit solo home runs to cut into the Brewers’ lead. Both homers came off Milwaukee relief pitcher Eric Lauer.
The Royals’ franchise record for consecutive games with a home run is 15, set in 2001.