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Close plays undo Royals in 9th, lose 6-4 to Cubs

Close plays undo Royals in 9th, lose 6-4 to Cubs

June 25th, 2011 in News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - In the end, the last break went the other way for the Kansas City Royals.

Tony Campana's close-call bunt in the ninth inning set up the go-ahead run for the Chicago Cubs to beat the Royals 6-4 Friday night.

With one out, Campana popped up a bunt against Aaron Crow (2-1) that Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas appeared to catch at his shoetops. Plate umpire Jeff Kellogg ruled that it hit the grass and Campana was safe at first.

Replays appeared to show that Moustakas caught the ball.

"I thought I did, but that's no excuse," Moustakas said. "If I had come up throwing to first then it wouldn't have mattered. I've got to make the play. I have to finish the play and it ended up costing us the game. You can't assume anything."

Campana then went to third on D.J. LeMahieu's single to right and came home when Kosuke Fukudome hit a bouncer that went off the glove of second baseman Chris Getz for an error. Starlin Castro added an RBI single that helped send the Royals to their sixth straight loss.

"It was a topspin ball," Getz said. "It's not like I've never seen one of those balls before. It got a little bit of speed and I missed it."

Yost said he didn't think Getz was rushing to turn a double play.

"It's a tough play, but Getz makes it nine times out of 10," Yost said "Getz didn't let the team down. We lose as a team, not as individual players. This is a team game. Getz had a part in it, of course, but no one player lets a team down in a nine-inning game."

The Royals stranded nine runners and went 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position. They even threw out four Cubs runners on the basepaths, making it seem as if it may have been their night.

On the base paths, Alfonso Soriano was out at the plate in the third, Castro was out trying to steal third in the first inning and Aramis Ramirez was out trying to stretch a single into a double in the sixth.

Most remarkable, though, was when and Geovany Soto was caught at third by right fielder Jeff Francoeur in the fourth inning.

"Castro stealing third, we want to give him the freedom to do that, but I didn't like his jump, but again it's a pretty close play," Quade said. "Soto going from first to third, right idea, a pretty good right fielder, bang-bang, I'd love him to be safe. He's the only rightfielder to me who makes that play. It was a perfect throw and all the rest of it. The aftermath is always now 'look what happened.' That hurts.

"Soriano I thought he was safe, but he blocked plate. Two outs take a shot and it goes against us. Ramirez busted out of the box and Gordon's caroming off the wall and is out easily. Would I love to see him pull up? Again, I kind of understand it."

Bruce Chen, who came off the disabled list Friday and made his first start since May 5, left after six-plus innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, while walking two and striking out four. Chen was out with a strained left lat.

Cubs starter Ryan Dempster allowed four runs, two earned, on nine hits, while striking out four and walking one.

Jeff Francoeur hit a two-run homer in Kansas City's three-run fourth inning. It was his 10th home run, but his first since May 22 against St. Louis, a span of 112 at-bats without a home run. Francoeur homered after Gordon reached on Dempster's throwing error. Melky Cabrera's two-out single scored Alcides Escobar with the other run of the inning.

Gordon, who extended his hitting streak to 11 games, singled to lead off the second and wound up scoring on Brayan Pena's sacrifice fly to left.

The Cubs had two doubles, a single and two walks in the fourth, but converted that into only two runs when they had two runners thrown out on the bases. Francoeur threw out Geovany Soto at third from right field. Gordon threw out Alfonso Soriano at the plate attempting to score from first on Lou Montanez's double.

Kansas City outfielders lead the majors with 28 assists, including 13 at the plate.

Aramis Ramirez led off the fourth with a double and scored on Carlos Pena's single. Pena came home on Montanez's double before Soriano was out to end the inning.

The Cubs had five hits in the seventh, but scored only one run, on Montanez's double-play grounder that scored Carlos Pena, who led off the inning with a double. Ramirez, who had three hits, struck out to end the inning with the bases loaded.

Sean Marshall (4-2) pitched a perfect eighth.

Notes: The Royals optioned rookie LHP Everett Teaford to Triple-A Omaha to make room for Chen. ... Cubs RHP Kerry Wood, on the disabled list with a right index finger blister, threw a side session Friday. Manager Mike Quade said he anticipated Wood would be activated Wednesday. The Cubs made their first visit to Kauffman Stadium since 2000.