For six painfully terrible innings, the Royals had sunk many fans into existential quandary, contemplating the futility of the entire notion of sports fandom. The anemic offensive attack of the Royals had managed a scant two runs, and those runs were gifts from the visiting Blue Jays.
Both second-inning runs were made possible by a pair of Dioner Navarro gaffes in the second inning. The first came after Billy Butler tagged at second and advanced to third on a Salvador Perez fly ball to center field. The only person not shocked by this development must have been Billy Butler, though one must assume at least part of him thought that he would get thrown out trying to advance. With Mike Moustakas at the plate, Dustin McGowan threw a ball in the dirt that seemed easily blockable for Navarro. He didn't get down, the ball skittered away, and Butler scored on what was deemed a wild pitch but should have been blocked. After Moustakas walked and Alcides Escobar barely beat out the back end of a would-be double-play grounder, Navarro's errant throw to try to catch Alcides Escobar stealing second plated Alex Gordon--who had all the while been standing eagerly at third.
Otherwise, Dustin McGowan--who, before facing that pitcher's panacea that is the Royals offense, had been struggling so mightily that the Blue Jays realigned top prospect Marcus Stroman's start in AAA - Buffalo to coincide with McGowan's for a quick replacement--held the Royals almost entirely in check through six innings in which he allowed two hits, three walks, and two runs, one of which was earned. Of course, he kicked off the seventh by giving up an Alex Gordon double that landed at the base of the warning track right between Jose Bautista and Colby Rasmus. The double meant the end of McGowan's night, and Steve Delabar made sure that Gordon's double would lead to a run charged to the starter when he grooved a fastball that Salvador Perez shot into the bullpen in left field.
That McGowan had his way with the Royals should be worrisome.
That the Royals had their way with the Blue Jays bullpen should alleviate at least some of the concern.
Once the Royals got to the bullpen, the combination of Steve Delabar, Brett Cecil, Sergio Santos, and Esmil Rogers allowed eight runs in their two innings of work. Perez drove in two more on a two-run double to plate the first runs of the eighth. Jarrod Dyson eventually singled in Perez. Norichika Aoki plated Escobar with a single and advanced to second on the throw. Infante singled in Dyson and Aoki. That's six runs in one inning. Apparently this is something that is possible. It might be easier if the Royals weren't trying to string together those runs with singles on grounders with eyes, but the runs scored today.
For his part, Royals' starter Jason Vargas was unimpressive. In 6.1 IP, he allowed five runs on ten hits, all of which were "earned," though two were thanks to a terrible fifth inning in right field for Aoki in which he had no "errors" but turned two balls hit over his head into unmitigated disasters, one a Jose Reyes "double" that glanced off his glove and the other a Melky Cabrera "triple" that he started in on and took a preposterous path to once he got a better read on the ball. Both plays were awful and when combined with his getting thrown out at third trying to advance on a ball hit to relatively shallow right made for a terrible night for Aoki, though it doesn't show up in the box score.
Louis Coleman did make things interesting in the ninth when he proffered a 79-mph hanger to Edwin Encarnacion that got rifled out to left. That cut the Royals lead to 10 - 7 with one gone in the ninth, but Coleman got the final two outs, and the Royals walked off the field victorious. It seems that the home run was punishment to redunion1940 and bob.forer for their brash and premature implementation of otter pics.
While Royals fans should be concerned that the Royals used their allotment of runs for the next two games in those two innings, it was nice to see them scored in a way that threw caution and pragmatism to the wind. Maybe it would be nice not to squander three games' worth of runs in one game, leaving everyone wondering if runs will ever be scored again in Kansas City when the Royals don't get to plate a guy for the rest of the series because they gorged themselves at the buffet today. But just this once, Royals fans get to go to sleep tonight with dreams of a team capable of scoring 10 runs. It'll be a short-lived sensation, sure, but a nice one.