Kansas City Royals' Vinnie Pasquantino celebrates with teammate Salvador Perez after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning of Wednesday's game in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
By BERNIE WILSON AP Sports Writer
SAN DIEGO (AP) — What was left of the crowd of 32,416 at Petco Park on a gloomy afternoon loudly booed the San Diego Padres after Ha-Seong Kim made the last out of a dismal 4-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals.
It wasn't the first time Wednesday frustrated fans let the high-priced Padres have it as they continued to flounder with runners in scoring position and make baserunning blunders.
The Padres were supposed to be so much better this year, with baseball's third-highest payroll and a quartet of superstars in Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., Xander Bogaerts and Juan Soto. Yet they dropped two of three to the Royals, who are last in the AL Central, and have lost nine of 11 overall to tumble to fourth place in the NL West, eight games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and four games under .500.
“I mean, we're frustrated. The way that we finished the game, I would boo ourselves, too," Tatis said.
Vinnie Pasquantino hit a tiebreaking two-run homer off Yu Darvish for the Royals. His homer to right field, his eighth, and Maikel Garcia's RBI double gave Kansas City a 4-1 lead in the sixth inning.
The Padres went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 overall.
San Diego's offensive woes continued despite Kansas City needing a bullpen day. The Padres scored twice in the sixth to pull to 4-3 but Tatis, moved down to third in the lineup, popped out weakly with the bases loaded to end the inning.
The Padres loaded the bases with one out in the seventh against Aroldis Chapman, but Trent Grisham struck out for the fourth straight time and then a wild pitch by Chapman caromed off the backstop right back to catcher Salvador Perez, who easily tagged out Juan Soto trying to score, ending the inning.
Royals opener Carlos Hernández held the Padres to two hits in two scoreless innings while striking out four.