Kansas City Royals vs. Oakland Athletics

January 24, 2011
Oakland Athletics
by LA Wad

As if things were not bad enough for the Royals — their losing streak extended to 11 games Tuesday night with an 8-5 loss to the Tigers – and there chances worsened on their strive to make it to the playoffs this year; according to all Sportsbook odds. The Royals are searching for a starting pitcher for Wednesday’s game after left-hander Mark Redman the scheduled starter, is out with forearm tightness.

Manager Buddy Bell said he was still waiting on the MRI results of Redman’s arm after the game. “We’re trying to figure out what to do tomorrow (as far as a starting pitcher), because our bullpen has been shot,” Bell said.

He said the club would be forced to make a roster move to bring in a starting pitcher or a reliever. “We might have to send a position player out,” Bell said. “We are going to need another reliever, anyway.” Mike Wood who made a spot earlier this season pitched 1 2/3 innings Sunday against St. Louis; another possibility is left-hander Jimmy Gobble, but he also worked an inning Sunday.

Omaha and Wichita are void of any healthy pitching prospects; left-hander J.P. Howell has not pitched in nearly a month because of a sore shoulder.

Nearly one year ago on this date; the A’s were at rock-bottom 17-32, 12.5 games out of first. Besieged by injuries, working on their second eight-game losing streak and the primary question marks centered on who would take the blame for the poor performance.

This year, the A’s are again beleaguered with injuries again, in the middle of a third four-game losing streak, the second within two weeks. But a poor division has them just one game out of first place following a 9-3 loss Tuesday to Chicago.

Starter Kirk Saarloos, who allowed six runs in 4.1 innings, said it’s a different feeling from last year. “It’s almost a worse feeling for some reason,” Saarloos said, based on the expectations the A’s had entering the season. “I really think we could be worse with all the injuries we’ve had. But it’s still disappointing that we haven’t played consistently. We’ll get some good starts, then we won’t — like (mine Tuesday). The main thing everybody is upset about is probably the consistent part.”

A sense of urgency is evident. “The bottom line is we’re struggling and we need to play better,” left fielder Jay Payton said. “We can’t let this spiral and just start saying, ‘we’re not doing because guys are hurt.’ We can’t have that attitude. We have to get it done no matter who is out there.”

Wagerweb.com Contributing Writer

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