Justin Maxwell's first homer as a member of the Royals couldn't have come at a better time, as he hit a pinch-hit blast in the top of the 12th to lead Kansas City to a 4-3 victory over the New York Mets.
Maxwell yanked a 3-2 fastball from David Aardsma that badly missed it's spot down the leftfield line:
Chen pitched a nearly flawless game outside of the homer, as he only surrendered one run on four hits over six innings. The southpaw looked dominant, fanning eight Mets while walking none. I don't know when the real Chen will return, but I hope he stays away for as long as possible.
Kansas City scored three runs in the top of the third. George Kottaras led off the inning with a solo homer, his fifth of the season. Chen, Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer followed with three straight singles against Jeremy Hefner, loading the bases. Alex Gordon drove in Chen with a sacrifice fly, and a Miguel Tejada single plated Cain.
The Royals offense looked mostly lifeless outside of the third and the Maxwell homer. Tejada led the team with three hits, and continues to look like the best option for Kansas City at second base.
The Mets offense looked equally inept, but they managed to scrape together a pair of runs in the eighth. Andrew Brown led-off with a pinch-hit single against Aaron Crow, then advanced to second on a Salvador Perez passed ball. Juan Lagares reached base on an infield single, advancing Brown, and stole second base during the next at-bat.
Kelvin Herrera kept the Royals game with three shutout innings out of the bullpen, serving as the de facto long reliever since Luis Mendoza was unavailable. Herrera has had his struggles this season, but those were three big innings.
Greg Holland tossed a perfect ninth, striking out the last two batters earn his 29th save of the year.