After spending the first six innings of Monday night's game making Cy Danks look like he was in fact Cy Danks and not the pitcher holding the fourth-worst FIP (4.86) and fifth-worst ERA (5.05) of pitchers with at least 140 IP, the Royals' bats came to life--or at least as close an approximation to life as this stagnant offense can muster--in the last three innings.
The Pale Hoes scored three runs off Royals ace James Shields in the first three innings. Shields didn't look sharp, and the first couple times that the top of the order came up they pieced together a few hits and plated runs.
The 3 - 0 lead that the South Side nine built looked like it would be more than sufficient as the Royals bats continued their disappearing act.
Against John Danks--who, it should be noted, is terrible and has been for three years now--the Royals managed just two hits and four walks. The two hits came from Norichika Aoki and were just as slappy and powerless as one would imagine if told that Aoki was the only Royal batsman who could put wood on Danks's balls.
In the seventh, the Royals added a run to the home column on the scoreboard when Omar Infante plated Eric Hosmer on a single off Javy Guerra.
In the eighth, they tallied another run when, with Aoki standing at third, Alex Gordon hit a bloop single off Zach Putnam into shallow center field for his first RBI in six weeks. Or maybe it wasn't six weeks, but it feels like it had been longer.
After Mike Moustakas laced a one-out double in his first plate appearance of the game came in relief of starting third baseman and candidate for most pointless Royal ever Jayson Nix, Jarrod Dyson entered as a pinch-runner. Alcides Escobar quickly grounded out, short-to-first, and it looked like Dyson may not ever cross the plate as the tying run. Then this happened (if the embedded video isn't working for you the clip can be found here):
Of course, to win the Royals would have to put another runner aboard, and the Royals were down to their final out. This is when Nori Aoki decided that he was going to hit a double. This double marked just the 26th time this season that Aoki collected an extra-base hit this season. Even he wasn't sure it was possible anymore.
With the tying run 180 feet from home plate, Ned Yost fingered Terrance Gore to enter. As a pinch-runner.
Terrance Gore is faster than Jarrod Dyson for those who weren't entirely sure who Terrance Gore is. Rather than explain what happened, because it absolutely shouldn't have happened, this video will show you (again, if the embedded video isn't loading for you, it's right here):
Maybe the Royals' season isn't over. At least for one night in mid-September it looks like it might not be.