The Royals swept both ends of the day-night doubleheader today, defeating the Rays in the nightcap 7-1. Alcides Escobar had the big hit with a bases-clearing, three-run double, and Alex Gordon continued his remarkable day with a four-hit performance as the Royals picked up their 48th win of the year, their most wins after 81 games since 1980.
The Rays got on the board first off starter Edinson Volquez, with a solo home run by the newly activated John Jaso. The Royals would tie it in the fifth when Jarrod Dyson walked, stole second, then scored on a single by Alex Gordon.
Volquez labored a bit, lasting only five innings, but giving up just five hits and one run, while walking three. He left in the sixth with a 1-1 tie still intact, yielding to reliever Brandon Finnegan, who retired the side in the sixth. In the bottom of the inning, Paulo Orlando was plunked with a pitch, leading to a bit of a staredown. Orlando later had a hard slide into second on a force out. A Cheslor Cuthbert single and a crucial walk by Jarrod Dyson would load the bases for Alcides Escobar. Escobar and reliever Brandon Gomes engaged in a tense eleven-pitch at bat before Esky drove a line drive down the left-field line to clear the bases and put the Royals on top 4-1.
Alex Gordon would drive home two more in the eighth on a double to complete his day with a 7-for-8 doubleheader with 6 RBI. Escobar was 4-for-8 today, but most shockingly he drew TWO walks. Jarrod Dyson reached base three times and scored all three times. In all, the Royals collected 26 hits and scored 16 runs, after not having topped five runs in a game since June 24.
The Royals lead the division by 4.5 games and are on pace for 96 wins. What a time to be alive.