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Servin' Em Up: The Royals Allow Homers On Road

Heading into last weekend, the Royals were cruising along on a nice winning streak, showing signs of life at the major league level to match the recent hype about the team's minor league system. They were closing on the gap on the competition and conjuring pipe dreams of a Rockies-esque stretch run, waking up many casual fans and enlivening the media. Enter the Chicago White Sox, otherwise known as the brick wall.

So what happened? Three games. Three losses. The White Sox used the weekend to take the AL Central lead into the All-Star break, a move that surprised many and has the division topsy-turvy heading into the second half. Meanwhile, the Royals are now back to 10 games under .500 and 10.5 off of the division lead. What was once so promising quickly turned back into statements along the lines of "we knew it."

What's the reason? "Bad baseball" is usually the correct answer when you get swept by any team. But specifically, the White Sox entered the weekend with one thing the Royals could not muster: sheer power. The ChiSox hit 10 homers over the weekend, providing plenty of fireworks to cheer about for the home crowd. But if you're the Royals, you're left in shock watching the ball leave the yard double-digit times. That's insane.

Brian Bannister allowed three homers. Anthony Lerew bested him with four HR allowed in less than three innings. Reliever Victor Marte got in on the act, allowing two HR in two appearances over the weekend (and three in his last four). In short, the loaded White Sox lineup did what they're supposed to do and simply crushed the baseball. And since the Royals lack an overpowering rotation who can afford to truly challenge hitters on most nights, they were bested by their weakness.

Need any proof. Eight strikeouts. Ten homers allowed. That's the ratio. And that's simply inexcusable. If you're face-to-face against a lineup of this caliber, then throwing one over the plate and crossing your fingers immediately following is not the right answer. Perhaps the scratch of Greinke factors in here a bit more than I'm allowing, but overall it's an abysmal performance and one that hangs over the heads of the staff and players as we move into the ASB. Here's hoping the team develops a different strategy next time around.