The Royals and Athletics had a peaceful evening of entertaining baseball, with the Royals retaliating with their bats in a 5-2 victory in Oakland. Kansas City got on the board first with a Kendrys Morales opposite-field home run that just snuck in down the line for a 1-0 lead. But it was the third inning where the Royals got the bulk of their runs with the help of Oakland's porous defense. Lorenzo Cain drove home the first run of the inning, after singles by Alex Rios and Alcides Escobar put runners on the corner. Lovestruck first baseman Eric Hosmer then bounced a chopper that was fielded by Ike Davis, but he made an odd errant throw that got by pitcher Jesse Hahn who was covering first. The throw allowed both runners to score to make it 4-0.
Later in the game, Alex did this. It was wonderful.
Edinson Volquez was at his best tonight, going seven innings, allowing just one run, a Sam Fuld RBI double in the third. That would be the only runner in scoring position all night as Volquez walked just one hitter, and allowed three hits. Over his last 25 starts, Edinson Volquez has a 2.47 ERA in 156 2/3 innings. He is starting to look like one of the best free agent pickups of the winter.
Kelvin Herrera entered the game in the eighth to a chorus of boos, but silenced the crowd when he made quick work of the Oakland lineup. Franklin Morales did plunk Stephen Vogt in the ninth in what appeared to be a pretty obviously unintentional beaning, but there is a history, so who knows if there will be retaliation tomorrow. Morales gave up a run in the ninth, yielding to Greg Holland, who notched his fifteenth save of the season.
Every Royals hitter in the lineup had at least one base hit. The pitching was outstanding. The defense, save for an awful Omar Infante throw, was its usual sharp self. Omar even stole a base. The Royals are 42-28 with a 4.5 game lead on the Twins. Kansas City just looked like the better team out there, which is what a good team should do. Winners win the game on the field.