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Royals' bats don't pitch in to back Kennedy

Special to MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- After another seven strong innings, Royals starter Ian Kennedy's ERA dipped to 2.08, not much more than half the American League average. Unfortunately for him, the Royals have scored a total of three runs over Kennedy's four starts, including Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Rangers.

All Kennedy has to show for his 26 deft innings of work this season is an 0-2 record with two no-decisions. He left Saturday's game with the score tied at 1, having thrown 95 pitches. He allowed four hits, walked three and struck out three, and the only run the Rangers scored off him was Mike Napoli's opposite-field solo homer that barely cleared the right-field wall in the second inning.

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ARLINGTON -- After another seven strong innings, Royals starter Ian Kennedy's ERA dipped to 2.08, not much more than half the American League average. Unfortunately for him, the Royals have scored a total of three runs over Kennedy's four starts, including Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Rangers.

All Kennedy has to show for his 26 deft innings of work this season is an 0-2 record with two no-decisions. He left Saturday's game with the score tied at 1, having thrown 95 pitches. He allowed four hits, walked three and struck out three, and the only run the Rangers scored off him was Mike Napoli's opposite-field solo homer that barely cleared the right-field wall in the second inning.

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Kennedy, of course, is not the only Royals starter receiving minimal run support. Their starting rotation has an MLB-best 2.29 ERA -- nearly a run better than the second-place Twins, who entered Saturday at 3.15. But the Royals are 7-10 and their starters, despite their phenomenal ERA, are only 5-4. The Royals have scored just 44 runs (2.6 per game).

"I can't control that," Kennedy said of the offense, which is hitting .209 as a team with a .274 on-base percentage and a .324 slugging percentage. "They've been struggling, we know that, and we're just trying to carry them as a starting staff, keep us in ballgames and hand the ball over to our relievers.

"If we can scratch a couple runs while this little drought passes … for me personally, you don't try to pay attention to that, you just go out there and give up the least amount of runs and grind through your start. I'll take my chances as long as I've been throwing like I have been."

Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer, two of the Royals' key offensive producers during their recent World Series runs, are hitting just .176 and .185, respectively, after going a combined 0-for-8 on Saturday. The hitters are keenly aware that they are wasting excellent performances from their starters.

"Everyone's frustrated," Hosmer said. "You want to use every good outing you can as an offense. We obviously haven't been doing our part, so we've just got to do what we can to break out of it. It motivates you as an offense to realize we've just to scratch a couple across right now. The pitching's definitely doing a good job of keeping us in these games, but it's on us as an offense to do our part and pick up the slack."

Long after Kennedy left, the Rangers walked off in the ninth on Elvis Andrus' RBI single. In the previous two games this series, the Royals were shut out 1-0 in 13 innings on Thursday and lost 6-2 on Friday. The Royals have dropped nine in a row to the Rangers dating to July of last year.

Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas.

Kansas City Royals, Ian Kennedy