Arizona jumped on Kansas City early and often as they cruised to a 5-3 victory over the Royals Thursday evening in the finale of a three game series at Kauffman Stadium. The Diamondbacks built a 3-0 lead by the middle of the second inning, capped by Miguel Montero's 9th home run of the season as Arizona improved to 42-34 with the win.
Kansas City meanwhile continued their recent dive after a 10-4 start to the season, in which they now sit with a 31-44 record.
All five Arizona runs came in the first four innings against Royals starter Felipe Paulino who finished the evening throwing eight innings, giving up the five earned runs on nine hits. He did however strike out eight while walking just one batter. Paulino took the loss in falling to 0-1 with the Royals, while sporting a 3.09 ERA since coming over in a trade recently with the Colorado Rockies.
Offensively the Royals drew within 3-2 in the second inning after producing two runs on when Alex Gordon scored after a Mike Moustakas single and throwing error on Montero. Alcides Escobar also singled as well, scoring Moustakas. In all Kansas City had three hits and a walk in the inning, but just two runners came around to score.
After the Diamondbacks stretch the lead to 5-2 in the fourth, Kansas City scored one more run in the bottom of the fourth as Matt Treanor singled to drive in Jeff Francoeur after Francoeur had doubled to lead off the inning.
Overall Paulino did settle down after the rough start, but the offense couldn't find enough juice to get back into the game. Everett Teaford and Greg Holland combined to pitch an inning of scoreless relief in the ninth inning as the Royals bullpen again proved to be one of the few bright spots for the team as of late.
Kansas City welcomes an interesting opponent in the Chicago Cubs over the weekend for a series that should produce some good crowds at the ballpark.
Bruce Chen (4-1 3.59 ERA) returns from a six-week stint on the disabled list Friday evening as the Royals look to stop the recent losing streak against Ryan Dempster (5-6 5.46 ERA). Gametime Friday night is 7:10 CST.