Bannister stumbles late as streak ends
Royals drop one to Marlins after winning five straight
MIAMI -- There were three big crashes on Saturday night at Dolphin Stadium and all of them hurt the Royals.
The Royals' five-game winning streak came to an end as the Florida Marlins came from behind for a 7-3 victory as 16,214 fans watched the Interleague game on an 89-degree night.
A three-run homer by pinch-hitter Wes Helms and a two-run shot by Mike Jacobs came in the Marlins' five-run seventh inning. Boom and boom.
Physically, though, a bigger crash between Royals outfielders Joey Gathright and David DeJesus caused even more pain. They collided in mid-air near the right-center field wall as they tried to catch Jacobs' fourth-inning drive.
Both players were shaken, but stayed in the game. Gathright's left shoulder was temporarily dislocated but he soldiered on.
"We both just jumped in the air and hit each other," DeJesus said. "I'm all right."
Gathright, although his shoulder was heavily iced in the clubhouse, said he was OK too.
"My shoulder went out and then came back in," he said nonchalantly. "I think he hit me and my arm was up. I haven't seen it [on tape] and I really don't want to see it."
Gathright said he's had the out-and-in routine with his surgically-repaired shoulder before. He said neither player called for a catch.
"We both said the same thing -- we couldn't see it, then we saw it and went for it," he said.
As they crashed, the ball glanced off Gathright's glove and went for a run-scoring triple. Jorge Cantu singled home Jacobs to tie the game at 2.
The Royals struck first against left-hander Scott Olsen when red-hot Jose Guillen smacked a two-run double. That came in the third inning after Mark Grudzielanek singled and Alex Gordon walked.
That hit extended Guillen's hitting streak to nine games. In that span, he's 17-for-34 -- batting .500 with 11 RBIs. His average is up to .239 from .165.
Royals starter Brian Bannister took a 3-2 lead into the seventh inning. But Luis Gonzalez singled and Mike Rabelo walked. Bannister said he was "running on fumes," but wanted to give the bullpen a break.
"We'd used the bullpen a lot recently and I wanted to get that seventh inning," Bannister said.
But he couldn't make it through.
"I could just tell when Luis kind of flared the one out there and I couldn't throw a strike to Rabelo," he said. "I wasn't hitting my release point anymore and it really showed up in the home run ball."
Helms, batting in the pitcher's spot, pounded an 0-2 curveball high over the left-field wall.
"He wasn't in the lineup, I hadn't faced him before and that was a tough way to lose," Bannister said. "It's tough wondering if I never should have thrown that pitch in the first place. And I don't know."
After Jeremy Hermida singled, Bannister was relieved by left-hander Ron Mahay. Jacobs belted a two-run homer to left field to up the lead to 7-3.
Manager Trey Hillman said he thought Bannister was holding up well as he went into the seventh. He was coming off an eight-inning shutout performance against Baltimore.
"I just felt like I'd got my confidence back and was ready to get a roll again," Bannister said. "It was tough to get beat on those last couple of pitches over a hundred. There's no excuse for it."
The loss kept the Royals from reaching the .500 mark. The victory ended the Marlins' four-game skid as they continue to hold off the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.