MINNEAPOLIS -- Outs are outs, right?
Royals left-hander Eric Skoglund made his third start of the season, and he once again relied heavily on the defense. Skoglund went four innings and gave up two runs in a 4-3 loss to the Twins on Friday night at Target Field.
Interestingly, Skoglund did not record a strikeout. And in his two previous starts covering nine innings, he recorded just one. All told, Skoglund has just two strikeouts in 18 innings this season, an unusual total considering the all-or-nothing offensive approaches most teams employ these days.
“This year I haven’t gotten many [strikeouts],” Skoglund said. “Last year, I was able to get some. That’s something I’m going to work on throughout the offseason. I’m getting ahead of guys for the most part, but just not been putting them away. I get 2-2 or 3-2 counts and I’m not putting them away. I need to work on that.”
But Skoglund will take the outs any way he gets them.
“I’m just trying to be efficient,” Skoglund said.
Royals manager Ned Yost agreed, reiterating, "Outs are outs. It doesn't matter."
The lack of strikeouts wasn’t really a detriment for Skoglund. He had a rough first inning in which he gave up two runs on a sacrifice fly by Nelson Cruz and an RBI triple by Miguel Sano.
But Skoglund retired 10 of the last 11 hitters he faced, mixing in a low 90s fastball, an effective changeup and a new-found slider, which he threw 14 times. He was on a 75-80 pitch limit and got to 76.
“I felt strong even from the beginning,” Skoglund said. “I walked the first hitter which grinds my gears a little. Second guy got a little knock down the line.
“But it’s something to build on. Me and [catcher Nick] Dini had something going with a good game plan and we stuck with it. I wanted to keep going.
“I have implemented my slider lately. I haven’t had it all year. I threw it for the first time against Houston [last week] and it’s just another pitch to have to keep hitters off-balance. That definitely helps as you get deeper into the game.”
Ryan McBroom had his first career three-hit game for the Royals, and he continues to impress Yost.
"No doubt. I like him a lot,” Yost said. “I like the fact that he can play multiple positions, first base and the outfield. He can play right. He can play left. I like the way he swings the bat. He's just getting himself settled in up here. He's going to continue to grow and get better and better, too, but I definitely like what I've seen from him so far."