Kansas City, Mo. (TNS) — A pitcher held a team scoreless through six-plus innings at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday night and received a standing ovation when he walked off the mound in the seventh inning.

He was not wearing a Royals uniform, though his past might have led him to.

Yet many in the announced crowd of 27,883, which was for a second consecutive night skewed in favor of the visiting Chicago Cubs, climbed to their feet to applaud left-hander Mike Montgomery as he strode into the third-base dugout.

The Royals were held to five hits by the 29-year-old as they lost 5-0, shut out for the seventh time this season.

Not that long ago, Montgomery was a first-round pick of the Royals, chosen 33 picks after Eric Hosmer was the third-overall selection of the 2008 draft. Montgomery remained in their organization through 2012, climbing to Class AAA Omaha within three years of graduating from Hart High School in Newhall, Calif.

Although Baseball America ranked Montgomery the Royals’ top prospect and the 23rd-best prospect in baseball after the 2011 season, he struggled at Omaha in both 2011 and 2012. He was demoted to Class AA Northwest Arkansas in 2012 and later packaged in the trade that brought pitchers Wade Davis and James Shields to Kansas City in December that year.

Of course, that trade yielded back-to-back American League pennants and a 2015 World Series Championship in Kansas City. The Royals have little reason to lick their wounds, thinking of a first-rounder lost. And Montgomery has little to grieve, as he recorded the last out of the 2016 World Series to help put an end to the Cubs’ 108-year drought.

But the decision came back to haunt the Royals on Tuesday night, when Montgomery pitched in Kansas City for the second time in his career and made it through six innings-plus of minimal damage. He yielded just five hits and two walks, striking out four as he kept all Royals batters from reaching third base.

The Royals didn’t reach third until Adalberto Mondesi, whose single against Montgomery ousted the left-hander in the seventh inning, and Alcides Escobar executed a double steal with Cubs reliever Carl Edwards Jr. pitching in the frame. But Drew Butera, Whit Merrifield and Alex Gordon could get nothing else going in the seventh inning.

The Royals mustered six hits as they lost their sixth consecutive game and fell to 34-79. Rookie starter Brad Keller, who allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings, took his fifth loss of the season.