Sweepin' It Up

Jamie Squire

Maybe it is 'just' the Twins, but celebrate it.

It seemed like an oh so Royals kind of night.

Wade Davis loaded the bases in both the first and second innings, with no one out in the second no less. Alcides Escobar dropped a throw from Salvador Perez on a pitch-out. Lorenzo Cain dropped a pop fly and then almost, but not quite, made a great play only to lose the ball as he ran into the wall giving the Twins a one-out triple. Eric Hosmer and Jeff Francoeur struck out on a combined seven pitches after a Perez lead off double. All that and, after getting just five innings from Davis, the Royals turned to an almost 36 year old, overpaid, soft tossing lefty for relief.

Except it was not a Royals kind of night. Not the old Royals, anyway.

Davis got out of his first inning jam by inducing an infield pop fly. He then exited the second inning mess by striking out Aaron Hicks, Joe Mauer and then getting Josh Willingham to pop out to Alcides Escobar. In between those two jams, Billy Butler ripped a massive home run to absolute dead center field.

The error by Escobar? The runner advanced no further than the gifted second base. The error by gain to lead off the seventh? That was followed by three straight fly balls, leaving Aaron Hicks stranded at second base.

Jeff Francoeur and his awful fourth inning strikeout (the second of the game)? Nevermind all that, Jeff hung massive dong to left field to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Later in the same inning, three straight singles gave the Royals a third run.

And Bruce Chen? He only struck out the two batters who followed Cain's almost catch in deep left-center, stranding Trevor Plouffe at third. The aged one went three innings, allowed two hits, no runs and struck out two. That outing, and the one in Philadelphia last weekend, do not justify the contract, but they sure don't hurt.

In the ninth, with Greg Holland likely unavailable and certainly shaky, the Royals went to Kelvin Herrera, who struck out two, allowed Joe Mauer to double, but then struck out Willingham looking to end the game and earn his second save.

Hell, even me starting this game recap early could not phase the 2013 Royals. Win, sweep, first place.

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