The Royals arrived in Chicago on Wednesday night, fresh off winning a series against the Padres in San Diego.
A day off Thursday allowed the Royals a chance to rest up for a series against the White Sox.
Alas, any momentum from that trip to Southern California evaporated in the City of Big Shoulders over the weekend. The White Sox beat the Royals 5-2 on Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field, capping Chicago’s three-game sweep.
Blame the lost weekend on the bats.
White Sox starter Lance Lynn entered Sunday with a 6.66 ERA, but he bedeviled the Royals, allowing two runs on four hits in six innings. Lynn got 19 swings and misses from Royals batters, who struck out six times.
The Royals scored just three runs on 12 hits in the series and finished a three-city road trip with a 2-7 record.
“I think it’s just ups and downs of the season,” said Royals second baseman Michael Massey, who hit a two-run homer in the second inning. “I mean, you look at a lot of these games, and it’s a couple plays here and there. I mean it’s not like we’re getting blown out of games. We’re not out of games. It’s just, maybe we’re not coming up in the right situations.
“But I think overall, if you look at our play, I think there’s certainly been improvement from last month to this month. We’re going to look close the month strong and obviously make improvements in June, as well.”
Sunday’s loss dropped the Royals’ overall record to 14-34. They are in last place in the American League Central, five games behind the fourth-place White Sox.
The Royals are on pace to score 624 runs, which would be the sixth-fewest over a full season in Royals history.
Miss the other games of the series?
Royals starter Carlos Hernández blew away the White Sox in his two-inning stint as an opener. Hernández didn’t allow a baserunner, and struck out two, topping 100 mph five times.
“He’s feeling good, throwing the ball really well, challenged hitters and has really good stuff,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “So that was an exciting two innings.”
Here is how Hernández looked on Sunday.
Hernández said he doesn’t alter his approach if he starts or comes out of the bullpen.
“My mentality is the same,” Hernández said, “to help my team.”
The Royals held a 2-1 lead in fifth inning when Chicago’s Clint Frazier and Gavin Sheets opened the home half with singles off Max Castillo.
Former Royals infielder Hanser Alberto’s bunt moved the runners to second and third, and they scored on Romy González’s triple. González then came home on a sacrifice fly by another former Royal, Andrew Benintendi.
All told, Castillo allowed five runs on eight hits, including a home run, in 4 2/3 innings.
“The home run was a fastball middle,” Quatraro said. “He gave up a few hits nothing nothing crazy. But you know, I’m guessing there were missed locations.”
What’s next: The Royals will open a three-game series against the Tigers on Monday at Kauffman Stadium. First pitch is at 6:40 p.m. Brady Singer will start for the Royals. Michael Lorenzen is the Tigers’ scheduled starter.