Royals' Shields endures rough stretch
The Sports Xchange
MLB Team Report - Kansas City Royals - INSIDE PITCH
James Shields is undefeated since May 2 at Detroit, although his recent numbers look shaky.
In his past 10 starts, the Kansas City right-hander is 5-0 with five no-decisions, including one Wednesday night in the Royals' 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Shields has a 5.46 ERA in his past six starts, allowing 49 hits, including eight home runs and 23 earned runs in 38 1/3 innings.
Shields lamented he did not throw a quality start against the Dodgers, yielding four runs on seven hits, including a Matt Kemp home run, in seven innings, leaving with the game tied 4-4.
"I had decent command," Shields said. "That's a good hitting ballclub. They took some good at-bats in the fifth inning. I thought the home run was a good pitch, down and away, but Kemp is a good hitter. The two triples in a row kind of hurt.
"For the most part, I thought my command was decent, that I pounded the strike zone for the most part. I didn't get too many three-ball counts. Just some bad luck. Our guys did a good job of fighting back. It's just unfortunate we lost the game by inches at the end there."
Shields unequivocally remains the Royals' ace with an 8-3 record and a 3.79 ERA in 17 starts.
MLB Team Report - Kansas City Royals - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Lost two
NEXT: Friday -- Angels (RHP Matt Shoemaker, 5-1, 3.42 ERA) at Royals (LHP Jason Vargas, 7-3, 3.16 ERA)
--RF Lorenzo Cain led off the Royals' first with a home run off Dodgers RHP Dan Haren. It was the Royals' first leadoff home run since LF Alex Gordon hit one Sept. 11, 2013, against the Twins. Cain finished the night 2-for-5 with two runs.
--CF Jarrod Dyson hit his first home run of the season in the fifth inning Wednesday. Dyson went 277 at-bats between home runs. His previous round-tripper was June 23, 2013, against the White Sox.
--C Salvador Perez, who started the first 22 games in June, was not in the lineup Wednesday. Manager Ned Yost said he was just giving Perez a rest. Perez struck out as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning and caught the ninth.
--C Brett Hayes, who began the night only two plate appearances in June, going 0-for-1 with a walk, started for the first time since May 31. It was the first time Hayes caught RHP James Shields this season. Hayes went 0-for-3, and his average tumbled to .079 (3-for-38).