Yesterday, the Kansas City Royals gave phenom Stephen Strasburg his first loss in the major leagues as they defeated Strasburg’s Washington Nationals 1-0. The Royals did to Strasburg what they have tried to do to most teams in 2010—bludgeon them to death with singles.

The Royals mustered nine hits off of Strasburg yesterday and all of them were singles.

Believe it or not, the Royals lead all of baseball in team batting average with a .280 mark. However, they rank in the middle of the pack in baseball (14th) in runs scored with 325. The four other teams in the top-five in average all rank in the top-six in runs scored.

So why are the Royals different than those other four teams?

The reason the Royals don’t score as many runs as they should is because they are having the same problem this year that has seemed to plague this franchise for years. They don’t have a series of guys who can hit 30-40 home runs. It’s like the Royals bend the pitcher, but never break them.

The Royals have 708 hits as a team this season, which is tied for first with the Boston Red Sox for the most in baseball. However, an astounding 71 percent of those hits have been singles. The Royals have 507 singles this season. No other team has more than 477.

Billy Butler is a solid hitter, but he is more a line drive, gap-to-gap hitter than a guy who is going to hit 35 home runs in a season. The Royals need to pair Butler with a hitter like Adam Dunn. Jose Guillen can hit the long ball on occasion, but he is not feared.

Outside of Butler and Guillen, there is nobody in that lineup that has serious home run potential. No player strikes fear into an opposing manager or pitcher in their presently constructed lineup.

It’s hard to score runs when you have to string together two or three hits just to score one run. I would suggest that the Royals run more if they are going to play this singles game. They currently rank 14th in baseball in steals.

Maybe down the road Mike Moustakas or Eric Hosmer can be those power guys for the Royals. But until that comes, the Royals are going to try to single teams to death.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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