Against about 80-90% of the odds (not all the odds), Joe Blanton made a solid start tonight. In the second inning, a double by Carlos Gomez was followed by a Scooter Gennett triple. In a rare miss, Lorenzo Cain was shaded toward shallow left field. Gennett hit the ball to deep center and a bit toward right. The screenshot below shows Cain's position prior to contact.
The ball landed in the top right corner of the center lane of grass with the "KC" on it. Despite being fully outstretched, Cain barely missed the ball. The Brewers struck first, but they certainly did not strike hard enough. I fully support the outfield strategies the Royals employ; this was an unfortunate miss that happens occasionally. Cain catches that ball if he's in a "normal" defensive position, but Cain probably doesn't get to a lot of other balls without the shifting.
In the bottom of the second, Eric Hosmer and Kendrys Morales led off the inning with singles. A wild pitch brought Hosmer to third, and Alex Gordon walked to load the bases with no outs. Unfortunately, Salvador Perez popped out and Alex Rios hit a sacrifice fly, which meant two outs accrued with only one run. Fiers was generous and uncorked another wild pitch, which put runners on second and third. Omar Infante hit a weak grounder to third, but it was just far enough from Aramis Ramirez and just weak enough to prevent any play. Morales scored on the play, and Alcides Escobar followed with another single, plating Gordon.
Blanton never faced any real threat besides the second inning. He threw only 73 pitches in five innings with five hits given up, one run, and four strikeouts. Couldn't expect anything better, really. The Brewers did manage another run in the eighth off Franklin Morales by way of a triple and a groundout.
The Royals struck again in the bottom of the fifth. Mike Moustakas singled, which brought up Cain. Not to be outdone by the Brewers, Cain hit his own triple. He smashed a line drive, I mean REALLY smashed it, to left center field. There wasn't a fielding error. Cain just hit it really far in the gap and turned on the wheels. Following a Hosmer walk, Morales doinked a grounder through the diving first baseman and diving second baseman, which scored Cain. Gordon brought in Hosmer with a sacrifice fly.
The bats came alive again in the eighth inning. After a walk by Gordon and a forceout, Salvador Perez stood on first base with one out. Rios and Infante each hit singles, which loaded the bases for Escobar. Escobar joined the triple party by hitting a line drive to the gap in right center just past the outstretched arm of Gerardo Parra. The bases cleared for three runs, and Escobar ended up scoring on a groundout.
Despite the onslaught of hits, a nice part of the offense of the Royals was walking more than they struck out. Fiers gave up three walks despite throwing about 70% strikes, which is above average last time I checked. Old friend Jonathan Broxton gave up the other two walks (big surprise).
The Royals won their third game in a row. In other news, Cleveland lost to the Cubs 17-0. I think I'm reading the data correctly, but it appears that Ryan Raburn and David Murphy pitched in the same inning for the Indians. Riiiight.