KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Brady Singer scattered five singles over 5 2/3 innings and the Kansas City Royals beat the Colorado Rockies 2-0 on Sunday.
Singer (4-4) allowed just one runner past first base while striking out seven, his most since getting eight on April 14 against Atlanta. He allowed no walks for the first time in seven starts.
“The sinker was a lot better than it has been lately,” Singer said. “It had some good run on it. I was able to attack with it, and the slider was really good.”
“He did a good job of elevating when he had to, but also pitching to the corners,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “The slider looked like it had better depth at times when he needed to get under the left-handed bat or expand with the righties.”
Rockies starter Kyle Freeland (4-7) retired the first 13 batters he faced. With one out in the fifth, MJ Melendez’s ground-ball double took a bad hop past Rockies second baseman Harold Castro to end Freeland’s perfect game bid. Melendez scored one out later on Michael Massey’s single to right.
“They were firing immediately, swinging the bats,” Freeland said. “When I see that from a team it just gets down to execution. When you’re executing your pitches they’ll get themselves out.”
Maikel Garcia led off the eighth with his first major league homer, ending Freeland’s day.
“We’ve seen him hit several balls off the wall here,” Quatraro said. “It was just a matter of time.”
Freeland gave up two runs and four hits with no walks and one strikeout in seven-plus innings.
“It was nice to get into the eighth inning like that,” Freeland said. “The slider was really good today. The curveball was not there at all. Every single time I tried to throw it, it was hit hard somewhere.”
“He had tremendous movement,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “Kyle’s ball was really moving, the fastball, the change, the breaking pitches.”
The Royals’ bullpen, with a major-league high 19 blown-lead losses, shut down the Rockies over the final 3 1/3 innings. Scott Barlow struck out three while working around a pair of singles to earn his seventh save.
Before the start of the sixth inning, the game was delayed for 16 minutes due to rain.
Mike Moustakas and Nolan Jones each had two of Colorado’s eight hits. Jones extended his hitting streak to a career-best seven games.
“I was seeing the ball well,” Jones said. “I feel like I was doing what I wanted to do.”
Kansas City got its third shutout of the season, and second in five games. Colorado was blanked for the second time in five games.
“It was a tough loss,” Black said. “We swung the bats pretty well the last couple of nights. Today we just couldn’t get to their assortment of breaking pitches. (Singer) threw a lot of quality breaking balls. There was just something about the slider we couldn’t solve.”
The win prevented the Rockies from getting a sweep, but the Royals still lost their fifth straight series and they are 1-9 in home series this year.
The Royals have not announced a starter for their series opener on Monday at Miami against Marlins LHP Braxton Garrett (1-2, 4.22).