Royals hope rough patch turns to path back to Series

Tue May 10, 2016 5:19pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Kansas City Royals are going through a rough patch, but leading hitter Eric Hosmer believes the humbling experience can help turn around the defending World Series champions.

The Royals got off to flying start to the 2016 Major League Baseball season but have since lost 10 of their last 13 games to fall seven games behind the American League Central-leading Chicago White Sox.

"Sometimes teams need that, you need to get knocked off your high horse every now and then," Hosmer told Reuters before the Royals lost the opening game of their four-game series against the New York Yankees on Monday.

"It humbled the guys a little bit. Now we'll try to get that energy back and try to get back to playing the game in our type of style."

Kansas City, after decades of futility, used strong pitching and an opportunistic offense marked by aggressive baserunning to become one of the sport's elite teams.

The Royals, who lost the decisive seventh game of the 2014 World Series to the San Francisco Giants, beat the New York Mets in five games last year to end a 30-year drought since their last MLB crown.

But their dominance has disappeared in recent weeks and while it is early in the 162-game season the Royals (15-16) will need to sort things out quickly before falling too far out of contention.

"We're just not all really clicking in one night," said first baseman Hosmer, who leads the team with a .336 batting average, but is the only regular hitting above .300. "We're confident it's going to change."   Continued...

May 9, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer (35) celebrates his home run with left fielder Alex Gordon (4) during the eighth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. New York Yankees won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports