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Royals dig early hole, shut out in 4th straight

KC scoreless streak reaches 43 innings in 12-0 blowout vs. Rays
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- Mike Moustakas, who has 35 home runs, is likely to break Steve Balboni's club record of 36 home runs. And the Royals as a team are on pace with 157 home runs to shatter their season record for home runs of 168.

And perhaps that's what makes the Royals' franchise-record 43 straight scoreless innings streak particularly amazing: Not one Royal has run into a ball and bombed it over the fence during these four straight shutouts that continued Monday night with a 12-0 whitewashing at the hands of the Rays.

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KANSAS CITY -- Mike Moustakas, who has 35 home runs, is likely to break Steve Balboni's club record of 36 home runs. And the Royals as a team are on pace with 157 home runs to shatter their season record for home runs of 168.

And perhaps that's what makes the Royals' franchise-record 43 straight scoreless innings streak particularly amazing: Not one Royal has run into a ball and bombed it over the fence during these four straight shutouts that continued Monday night with a 12-0 whitewashing at the hands of the Rays.

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"When you're not going good, it's hard to run into any balls," manager Ned Yost said. "And we're certainly not going good. But I've been thinking about that, too, that surely someone is going to run into one."

The all-time Major League record for consecutive innings being shut out is 48, held by the 1968 Cubs and the 1906 A's. But since the mound was lowered after the 1968 season, the Royals' streak is the worst, topping the 1983 Phillies and the 1985 Astros, each of whom had streaks of 42.

But first baseman Eric Hosmer preferred to look at another angle of the streak: The Royals have been blown out early in consecutive 12-0 losses.

Video: TB@KC: Yost on the offensive struggles in 12-0 loss

"I think the bigger problem is just not winning," Hosmer said. "The games haven't really been too competitive. I think we've been putting ourselves in a hole early. I know the big problem, or the big talk right now, is the scoreless streak. But we got to start off being competitive, finding ways to string along some hits and stay in some of these games."

Despite the recent scoreless stretch, the Royals are still in the thick of the American League Wild Card race, three games back of the Twins for the second spot.

The Royals were down, 12-0, after two innings against the Indians on Sunday. And they were down, 8-0, after three innings on Monday.

"Just make it competitive," Hosmer said. "It seems like the last couple days, it's been the second or third inning and we've been put in a pretty big hole. And it's just the way things are going right now."

Video: TB@KC: Rays rack up six runs in the 3rd inning

Yost said he still sees the same effort from his players as he always has.

"What I gauge is the energy on the club," Yost said. "So you're looking at the energy the club has, the fight, the intensity, and is everybody playing hard and giving their best effort. And when I sit and look at this group there isn't a guy who isn't fighting his tail off. We're just not having success right now."

In fact, the Royals have been outscored, 35-0, since they last scored on Thursday.

"It's just not happening right now," Hosmer said. "There's no speech we can come in here and say one day to turn things around. It's just a matter of going out there and doing it.

"The whole big picture is it's four games or five games that we haven't won. It looks a lot worse because we haven't scored. But at the end of the day, it's baseball. It's a loss. It'd be the same thing if we lost 12-11. We just haven't scored yet. I'm pretty confident we'll score one more run by the end of the season."

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

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