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Royals Beat Orioles 3 - 2, Despite Stranding 12 Runners

Chen serviceable in six innings only to have bullpen make things interesting. Offense was far from impressive in 3 - 2 win.

Lough ballin'
Lough ballin'

If you fell asleep in the first few innings only to wake up with the score 3 - 1, there wasn't much in this game for you. Having driven to Luling to take in City Market (great brisket, ribs, and sausage) and then ventured on down to the Shiner Brewery (exactly what you'd expect it to be), I was one of those people who fell asleep and "missed" the bulk of the scoring. Sure, thanks to DVR I was able to rewind and get the gist of what happened, but for the last six innings there was very little excitement sans the Greg Holland hiccup in the ninth that cut the Royals lead to one run.

On the offensive side of things, the Royals had baserunners aboard in every inning but the seventh yet managed only three runs, all of which came in the first three innings. With the bases loaded and no outs in the first against Jason Hammel, Billy Butler grounded into a double play, making outs at third and first but plating Alex Gordon in the rare GIDP no RBI RBI. In the next inning, Chris Getz drove David Lough in from third for his 14th RBI of the season. In the third, Moustakas doubled with Butler on first and Cain at third, plating Cain for the third and final Royals run of the game.

Bruce Chen was Bruce Chen. For the first three innings, he mostly worked around Orioles on the basepaths, stranding Nick Markakis in the first and Chris Davis in the second. Of course, he served up a Manny Machado homer in the third, but somehow Chen shut down the Orioles for the next three innings and handed the ball over to the bullpen with a 3 - 1 lead.

With Kelvin Herrera taking the ball in the seventh, Moustakas had his second error in as many days, as his errant throw arguably drew Hosmer off the bag at first allowing Chris Davis to reach safely on the throwing error. Herrera then uncorked a wild pitch, advancing Davis to second with just one out. J.J. Hardy moved Davis to third with a ground out to short, but pinch-hitter Henry Urrutia--whose surname sounds like a painful urinary tract malady--struck out to end the inning.

Aaron Crow took the mound in the eighth. After getting Brian Roberts (who had a terrible defensive game for the Orioles, by the way) to fly out to deep center, Crow decided that it would be a good idea to walk Taylor Teagarden. Whether it was because Aaron Crow was under the mistaken impression that Teagarden was Aimee Teegarden's brother or out of sheer pity, Crow issued Teagarden his first free pass of the year. Sure, he doesn't play much as the Orioles are wont to abuse their star catcher just as much as the Royals are, but you simply do not walk a guy hitting .111/.111/.278 coming into action on July 23rd. Again, the Royals lucked out, and Crow got Teagarden at second in a Nate McLouth fielder's choice before getting the benefit of a borderline strike three call (FoxTrax showed the pitch to be outside) with the dangerous Manny Machado at the plate.

In the ninth, Greg Holland made things interesting, something the Royals are not used to. Nick Markakis singled to lead off the inning and was promptly driven in as Adam Jones hit a screamer that died at the base of the wall in deep left center. By the time Lorenzo Cain came up throwing, Jones was rounding second and making his way to third sliding in under the relay throw from Escobar safe, 90 feet from home, a tie, and with no one out. He then got Chris Davis to strike out swinging and induced to weak ground outs from J.J. Hardy and Urrutia, but not before giving everyone a scare.

Of course the game shouldn't have been that close. The Royals scored a scant three runs despite the fact that they had runners on base in every inning but one. In fact, they managed 16 baserunners--11 hits and five walks--but they mostly just scattered harmless singles around with only Mike Moustakas getting an extra-base hit (Chris Getz did advance to second on the throw to third on his RBI single, so it's almost like he hit the ball hard/far enough to have a double). The Royals had plenty of runners in scoring position, but it seemed as though the offense was nearly allergic to driving those runners in.

As they say, a win's a win. This wasn't a pretty one, though.