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Kennedy can't slow O's after Royals' fast start

Right-hander allows 9 runs over 4 innings following Salvy's slam
May 10, 2018

BALTIMORE -- On a Thursday night that started so promising for the Royals when catcher Salvador Perez ripped a first-inning grand slam, they simply couldn't contain the Orioles.The Royals gave up four-run and three-run leads en route to an 11-6 loss in the rubber game at Camden Yards.Royals starter Ian

BALTIMORE -- On a Thursday night that started so promising for the Royals when catcher Salvador Perez ripped a first-inning grand slam, they simply couldn't contain the Orioles.
The Royals gave up four-run and three-run leads en route to an 11-6 loss in the rubber game at Camden Yards.
Royals starter Ian Kennedy struggled from the onset, giving up nine runs over four innings -- the most runs he has allowed since signing with the club in 2016. Kennedy gave up eight hits, including three home runs. His ERA spiked from 2.92 to 4.61.

"You get the Salvy grand slam and the big first inning, and you think, 'Here we go,'" manager Ned Yost said. "But it was a bit of a wait [for Kennedy] while we were creating some offense. Ian goes out and gives up three, and I had the mindset to just get through that and then he'd settle down.
"Then he goes out and has a really good second inning. But it was just a grind for him. Had trouble executing pitches. Everything they were hitting was up and over the plate. Just a grind for him. He has been throwing the ball so well, and today he was just flat."

Jorge Soler's two-run single in the second inning gave the Royals a 6-3 lead. But the Orioles answered with two in the third and four in the fourth, chasing Kennedy.

"I just watched the video," Kennedy said. "Everything was flat. The slider was flat. The curveball had a hump in it. I pulled my changeup. I wasn't on top of the ball. I tried to make the adjustment.
"The guys scored a bunch of runs for me and I can't hold it. Really disappointed right now."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Kennedy couldn't locate his fastball most of his night -- that was obvious in the first inning when the Orioles punished his four-seamer with doubles by Trey Mancini and Adam Jones, and a home run by Manny Machado. Yet, Kennedy still was clinging to a 6-5 lead in the fourth when he walked the leadoff hitter and with one out, gave up a single to Jace Peterson. That's when Kennedy went with a 1-0 changeup to light-hitting catcher Chance Sisco, who smashed it into the right-center-field gap for a two-run double. Mancini then ripped a four-seamer for a two-run jack, and the O's led 9-6.

UP NEXT
Right-hander Jason Hammel (0-4, 4.78 ERA) will get the start at 6:10 p.m. CT on Friday as the Royals open a three-game set against the Indians at Progressive Field. Right-hander Trevor Bauer (2-3, 2.53) will start for the Tribe. Hammel, who will be making his eighth start of the season, gave up three runs and 10 hits over 6 2/3 innings in his last outing on Saturday against the Tigers.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.