Brady Singer’s last start spoiled by five-run inning in KC Royals’ loss to Guardians

This season, Brady Singer proved he’s capable of being the lead figure in the Kansas City Royals’ pitching rotation. But a season of maturity and strides ended on a sour note as Singer got roughed up by a division rival for a five-run inning in his final start of the season.

Singer lost for the first time since the first week of August as the Royals fell 6-3 to the Cleveland Guardians in front of an announced 19,753 in the first game of a six-game series between the teams at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

The Royals (63-94) lost their fourth straight game in starting their season-ending road trip.

The teams were originally scheduled to play a season-opening series in Cleveland, but the MLB lockout of the players and the delayed start to the season wiped out that series. Those games were added to the already-existing season-ending series.

Royals rookies Drew Waters (1 for 3) and Michael Massey (1 for 3, two runs scored) each hit home runs, while fellow rookie Bobby Witt Jr. (1 for 4) extended his hitting streak to 12 consecutive games.

The Royals led by three halfway through the game, but they didn’t score the rest of the night and finished with just four hits.

Singer (10-5) allowed six runs on seven hits, including a home run, and one walk in 5 2/3 innings.

He entered the night with an ERA of 2.99 through 26 games (23 starts), bidding to become just the second Royals pitcher since 2000 to finish the season with an ERA below 3.00 while pitching at least 150 innings.

His teammate Zack Greinke, who posted a 2.16 ERA during his Cy Young Award-winning campaign in 2009, is the only Royals pitcher to accomplish that feat.

Singer didn’t allow a hit the first time through the Guardians’ batting order, and he struck out six of the first nine batters he faced. He didn’t give up a hit until the start of the fifth inning.

Guardians starting pitcher Aaron Civale cruised through the first two innings on just 25 pitches.

Civale retired the first six batters he faced in order, but Massey reached on an error to start the third inning when his pop-up fell as Guardians infielders Andres Gimenez and Gabriel Arias bumped into each other as both attempted to make the catch.

The Royals made the Guardians (89-68) pay for that error two batters later when Waters blasted a 2-2 cutter into the right-field stands for his third home run of the season. That gave the Royals a 2-0 lead.

Massey added to the lead in the fifth inning with his solo homer over the right-field wall. His fourth home run of the season made it a three-run advantage for the Royals on just two hits.

However, the Guardians got a run in the fifth on an RBI single by former Blue Valley High School and Kansas State player Will Brennan (1 for 3, walk, run, RBI).

Then the Guardians broke the game open and ran Singer off with a five-run sixth that included a three-run home run by Jose Ramirez.

Singer had allowed just two hits entering the inning, but the first two batters reached on back-to-back singles. The second single came on a bunt fielded by Singer, but his off-balance throw to first base pulled Vinnie Pasquantino off the bag. Ramirez followed with his 29th homer of the season.

Singer gave up five hits and a walk in the inning. He exited with two outs.

The relief corps of both teams held the score steady for the final three innings.