How many different ways are there to say, "Royals score more runs than necessary, win"? I think we're running out of ways.
For a second, it didn't seem that way. Guthrie opened the first inning in a fashion reminiscent of his early-season struggles. He allowed a single to Brandon Phillips and then walked Joey Votto and May The Todds Be Ever In Your Frazier (thanks Cespedes BBQ) to load the bases with only one out. This time, however, Guthrie worked out of the jam by getting a strikeout from Marlon Byrd and a flyout from Jay Bruce. Luckily, he faced a weaker part of the lineup with the bases loaded. Byrd and Bruce are still showing some power, a .202 and .229 ISO respectively, but their strikeout rates are high and their BABIPs are very low. They seem to have lost whatever they had.
Guthrie was solid for the rest of his start. He scattered a few base hits through the rest of his innings, but there was never much of a scoring threat. Guthrie finished with 6 innings, 5 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts.
That's not to say that Guthrie didn't have help.
The scoring started in the second inning. Eric Hosmer doubled and later scored on a sacrifice fly from Alex Gordon. The fourth inning was the big inning, though. Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain led off the inning with singles and advanced to second and third base on a wild pitch. That wild pitch turned out to be important. Hosmer hit a grounder on one bounce to Phillips, who was faced with a decision: Throw home to catch Moustakas or throw to first to catch Hosmer. Either decision resulted in an out. Phillips, after mulling over the situation while running forward, ended up throwing home. His throw was not in a good position for the catcher to tag out Moustakas, so Moose ended up safe at home. Everyone else was safe too.
Hosmer, for good measure, continued the parade by stealing second base. Again, important. Cain then scored on a sacrifice fly from Kendrys Morales, but Hosmer didn't advance. With two outs and Hosmer still on second, he would run on contact. Salvador Perez pulled a liner to left field, which allowed Hosmer to score fairly easily. Just like that, 4-0 Royals.
The Royals continued the scoring threats in the fifth inning. Paulo Orlando led off with a HBP and was followed by two singles, which loaded the bases with no outs. Cain then hit into a double play, but Orlando still scored. The Royals tacked on two more runs with two outs in the bottom of the 8th. Lorenzo Cain got on base, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and then stole third. Morales doubled him in, and Gordon brought in Morales. Salvador Perez walked, but that was of no consequence. I just thought we should note whenever he takes a walk.
The only scoring the Reds could offer was a single and a double in the 7th inning off Ryan Madson. Hochevar came in for the 9th and allowed a leadoff double to Skip Schumaker, but he retired the next three hitters to finish off the game.
The Royals narrowly missed a third shutout in a row.
Some speed. Some defense. Some BABIP. Some solid pitching. This sounds familiar, just like the Royals scoring more runs than necessary.