MILWAUKEE, Wis. There was once a point early this season, before the Royals lost 19 games in April and well before they fell to 20 game outside of first place in the American League Central division, where starting pitcher Jakob Junis seemed he would be the brightest spot on the roster.
But the last two months, batters have caught on. After starting the season with a 2.02 ERA, Junis has pitched 69 2/3 innings and allowed 44 earned runs. More often than not, the runs have scored on bases-emptying blasts.
Just like they did on Tuesday, when the Royals lost 5-1 to the Brewers at Miller Park. Junis allowed five runs to score via home runs hit by Christian Yelich, Jesus Aguilar and Ryan Braun. Hes allowed a major-leading 22 home runs this year.
Junis struck out five of the first 10 batters he faced and seven overall. But he labored from the second inning on. In the end, he allowed seven hits, three of which traveled a combined 1,185 feet and sent Bernie the Brewer down his left-field slide for each.