The Kansas City Royals picked up their third win of the season Monday, a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, thanks to a strong performance by Jason Vargas and a timely hit from Alcides Escobar. Here are some scattered thoughts from someone who watched in the upper deck:
- Vargas looked in control tonight, only allowing four hits over 8+ innings. Tampa Bay only had two well struck balls against the southpaw: Evan Longoria's double and Ben Zobrist's solo homer. He only struck out two hitters, but threw strikes and held the Rays to one walk. There's no way Vargas keeps this pace up, but his first two starts in a Royals uniform have been a pleasant surprise
- The Royals had a ton of baserunners, so it only felt like a matter of time until they broke the game open. That moment came on Escobar's bases clearing double in the bottom of the sixth, an outcome I certainly didn't expect. Those extra three runs proved crucial, as it would have been brutal to see Kansas City lose 2-1.
- Matt Moore left the game in the bottom of the fifth inning with an apparent elbow injury. I hope he's OK, but elbow injuries are bad news.
- Kansas City has an injury problem of their own after Omar Infante was hit in the face by a Heath Bell offering. Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star brings us an update:
Omar Infante received stitches and is undergoing tests to determine if his jaw is broken. The team also fears he suffered a concussion.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughStar) April 8, 2014
- It's hard to imagine that Infante playing tomorrow, and Danny Valencia is not a legitimate option at second base. I would expect to see Johnny Giavotella called up and starting tomorrow, although I guess Christian Colon is a possibility as well.
- All of us at Kauffman Stadium did a great service tonight, eliminating "Friends in Low Places" from the Royals song bracket. You are welcome, America.
- Game 2 of the series features an exciting pitching matchup: Chris Archer vs. Yordano Ventura. I imagine the walkup crowd will be pretty big and the stadium much more alive.