Royals loss continues recent slide

Royals loss continues recent slide

MILWAUKEE -- Both clubs dressed in old-fashioned uniforms, but it was the Royals who took an old-fashioned beating on Saturday night.

And it was also the Royals who apparently got an old-fashioned dressing-down from manager Buddy Bell after another mistake-prone loss to Milwaukee.

Wearing Negro League uniforms from the Roaring Twenties, the Brewers knocked off the Royals, 7-1, as a sellout crowd of 41,721 fans watched at Miller Park.

Brian Bannister, decked out in the black duds of the Kansas City Monarchs, had his four-game winning streak interrupted. The guys wearing the gleaming white Milwaukee Bears gear drilled him for seven runs in his five innings.

But the most irritating factors for Bell came in the first two innings.

David DeJesus was breaking from first base to second when Esteban German struck out. DeJesus walked into a tag to complete a double play.

"My fault," DeJesus said. "I looked in and nobody was doing anything, so I thought it was ball four."

Except that German had swung and missed, and catcher Johnny Estrada threw to second baseman Rickie Weeks.

In the second inning Ryan Shealy drove in the Royals' only run and was on second base when Tony Pena Jr. hit a pop fly. Shortstop Craig Counsell made the catch and Shealy had wandered so far off the bag that he, too, was doubled up.

"You can't make those kind of mistakes any night," Bell said. "But especially when a team like this is playing the way they are."

The Brewers are indeed steaming. They've won five straight and stand 9-1 since being no-hit by the Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander.

"It was a tough game," Bannister said. "They're playing well -- they're hot, they're obviously feeling strong, and we're trying to get out of it real quick. I wanted to come out and give us a strong start and a couple of those guys gave me a tough time."

He referred to the Brewers' 1-2 hitters, Corey Hart and Craig Counsell. In the first inning, Hart singled and scored on Counsell's double. In the third, both batters walked to set up a three-run inning that also featured Ryan Braun's RBI double and Johnny Estrada's two-run single.

Bannister said a 13-pitch battle with Hart that resulted in the walk was crucial. Hart, a 6-foot-6 oddity in the leadoff role, also had three singles.

"He looks like [Richie Sexson] in the box, but he has a whole different approach than Sexson," Bannister said. "He was hitting balls tonight below the knees and away and he still got to them. He was tough on me tonight. That, obviously, was the game-changer for me -- his two at-bats in the first and the third."

The final blow against Bannister was Bill Hall's solo home run in the fifth.

The Royals have lost four straight games to National League teams and the two here have been notable for obvious blunders.

"It's always a concern when we have mental mistakes. We don't normally do that," Bell said. "But that still doesn't make it all right. It just makes it worse when you see it."

And he was seeing it, all right, and probably seeing red.

Asked how the players' postgame session with Bell went, team captain Mike Sweeney said: "Pretty good. Hopefully, we'll respond tomorrow."

The Interleague series ends Sunday afternoon.

"We did some things wrong today so we've got to fix them," DeJesus said.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.