KANSAS CITY - After scoring 16 runs in their previous two games, both wins at St. Louis, the Phillies' offense struggled in a 5-1 interleague loss to the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.
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The Phillies had just four hits and struck out 12 times. They were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position.
The Royals scored four of their five runs on homers.
The loss dropped the Phillies to 21-16. They still lead the NL East.
The Royals are 14-25.
• Jake Arrieta had been successful in keeping the ball down this season; he entered the game with a 52 percent ground ball rate, the 11th best mark in the NL. However, Arrieta left a few pitches up in this one and paid a price for it. He gave up three homers, two to Alex Gordon on a high cutter and a high sinker, and a third to Jorge Soler on a high sinker. Soler hit his homer on the first pitch of the bottom of the sixth inning. It traveled 438 feet to center.
• The Phillies squandered a big chance in the top of the sixth inning. Trailing 3-1, they got hits from Jean Segura and Bryce Harper to open the frame. The Royals replaced starter Homer Bailey with reliever Scott Barlow. Barlow struck out the first batter he faced, Rhys Hoskins, then walked J.T. Realmuto to load the bases. Barlow then extinguished the threat by striking out Odubel Herrera and Cesar Hernandez. Herrera chased a couple of pitches out of the zone in his poor at-bat and Hernandez struck out on three pitches.
• Barlow was a beast. He pitched two innings and struck out six. He got Maikel Franco, Nick Williams and Andrew McCutchen, all looking, in the top of the seventh. The third-strike pitch to Franco was low, but Barlow was still one of the stars of this one.
The right-hander had allowed just five homers in his first seven starts. He was hurt by three of them in this one. Arrieta walked three and one of them scored on Gordon's first homer. Arrieta is 4-3 with a 3.78 ERA.
Arrieta's counterpart, Bailey, held the Phillies to one run and four hits over five-plus innings. The Dodgers are paying over $22 million of Bailey's $23 million salary this season. They released him shortly after acquiring him from Cincinnati in December. The Royals signed him to a minor-league deal in February.
Arrieta and Bailey both have pitched two no-hitters in their careers.
Sights and sounds
The Royals observed a pre-game moment of silence for David Montgomery, the former Phillies president who died on Wednesday after a five-year battle with cancer.
The series continues on Saturday night with Zach Eflin (4-3, 3.00) on the mound against right-hander Brad Keller (2-3, 3.99).
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