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Royals miss tag, opportunity in loss to Reds

Herrera yields tying HR in 9th before Cincinnati's 4-run 10th
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- You don't wind up 22-45 without some bizarre losses.

The Royals' 5-1 defeat in 10 innings on Tuesday night at the hands of the Reds certainly qualifies. The record will show that Joey Votto did the damage with a three-run triple that keyed a four-run rally in the 10th.

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KANSAS CITY -- You don't wind up 22-45 without some bizarre losses.

The Royals' 5-1 defeat in 10 innings on Tuesday night at the hands of the Reds certainly qualifies. The record will show that Joey Votto did the damage with a three-run triple that keyed a four-run rally in the 10th.

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But the inning started out with a single, an error and a botched sacrifice bunt by Billy Hamilton that got a runner thrown out at third. Moments later after a single by Scott Schebler, Hamilton stood on third.

Then, Tucker Barnhart, who tied the score at 1 with a home run in the ninth, sent a shot back at reliever Kevin McCarthy, whose glove came off trying to stop the ball. If McCarthy had fielded it cleanly, it's possible that he could have started an inning-ending double play, though the infield was playing in, making it much more difficult.

McCarthy retrieved the ball, and his glove, and got Hamilton in a rundown instead.

Video: CIN@KC: Hamilton jukes the tag to beat the rundown

"Just a hard comebacker," McCarthy said. "I looked to second. Maybe someone was there to turn two quick. But [shortstop Alcides Escobar] was pointing back home, so [I] just flipped it to home."

But Hamilton eventually avoided a tag by Escobar, who was covering third, to load the bases. The Royals argued, to no avail, that Hamilton ran out of the baseline to avoid the tag -- baseline rulings are not unreviewable.

"In their judgment, he didn't leave the baseline," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I said [to third-base umpire Jeff Nelson], in my judgement, he did. He checked with [home-plate umpire Laz Diaz], and Laz was of the same opinion [as Nelson]. You don't really have much of an argument there. It's not reviewable. I haven't looked at the replay.

"I think there's a lot of things that should be reviewable. There's a lot of things that could go on that reviewable list, yes."

Votto followed with a gap shot to right-center to clear the bases.

Video: CIN@KC: Yost on Hamilton's play, loss to Reds

Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy entered the game with a 5.76 ERA. Reds right-hander Sal Romano came in with a 6.23 ERA.

Naturally, a pitching duel unfurled.

Kennedy tossed eight shutout innings and would have recorded his second win of the season but Barnhart crushed a home run in the ninth off closer Kelvin Herrera, tying the score at 1.

Barnhart drove a 2-2 changeup from Herrera into the right-field bullpen. Later, Herrera, who had not walked a hitter this season in 24 2/3 innings coming in, walked two. But he escaped further damage.

Video: CIN@KC: Barnhart belts a solo homer to tie it in 9th

Kennedy gave up just three singles, walked three and struck out five. It was his longest outing since April 16, 2017, when he also threw eight shutout innings against the Angels.

"I feel like we're moving in the right direction," Kennedy said. "Good game plan and just executing better."

Video: CIN@KC: Dozier opens the scoring with a solo homer

First baseman Hunter Dozier gave the Royals the lead in the fifth inning with his second home run of the season to left field, a blast projected to travel 425 feet, according to Statcast™. Dozier jumped on a 3-2 fastball from Romano.

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
The Reds were threatening to score in the second inning when a big defensive play bailed out Kennedy. Scooter Gennett led off with a single and Eugenio Suarez walked. With one out, Adam Duvall walked to load the bases. Then, Jose Peraza lifted a fly to medium center field where Abraham Almonte made the grab and threw a perfect strike to catcher Salvador Perez to nail Gennett trying to score.

Video: CIN@KC: Almonte nails Gennett at home for double play

"It helped that Abe threw a perfect strike," Kennedy said. "Sometimes you need a game-changer like that."

SOUND SMART
Escobar started his 400th straight game, the longest active streak in the Majors. Padres shortstop Freddy Galvis is next at 232.

HE SAID IT
"Salvy thought there was an issue with [Herrera]. So we went out to check it. The issue was the ball was just very slick. He was having a hard time getting a grip on the ball. That was his issue. Feels great. Just really struggled -- his hand, I guess was sweating and he struggled to get a grip on the ball." -- Yost, on if there was a possible injury to Herrera in the ninth that prompted a mound visit

UP NEXT
Right-hander Jason Hammel (2-6, 5.12 ERA) takes the mound for the Royals on Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. CT in the finale of the two-game set with the Reds at Kauffman Stadium. Right-hander Tyler Mahle (4-6, 4.33 ERA) will pitch for Cincinnati. Hammel gave up four runs and eight hits over six innings in a 4-1 loss to the A's on Thursday.

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

Kansas City Royals, Hunter Dozier, Alcides Escobar, Ian Kennedy