Things were going so well, too.
Lorenzo Cain socked two home runs, Alex Rios added a third big fly, but in the end, multiple grand slams was the difference in the game. The end result was an 14-8 loss to the Orioles, bring the Blue Jays even closer to the Royals in the American League standings.
Kansas City wasted little time drawing first blood on Friday night, plating runs in each of the first two innings. Facing a rookie in Mike Wright, a dubious recent trend for Royals hitters, the team made the most of their limited baserunners. In the first, Cain clobbered a two-out homer, and one inning later, Alex Rios and Alcides Escobar drove in runs on a sac fly and a double.
Danny Duffy took the 3-0 lead and worked with it, bending all evening but never breaking. His outing began with consecutive walks, but he managed to evade it. He was consistently in trouble, surrendering a run in both the third and fourth innings, but he gritted through five frames to keep his team in front. He needed over 100 pitches (101) to complete his five innings. He walked three to match the three hits he allowed, but he fanned a season-high eight Orioles.
Clinging to a 3-2 lead, Cain stepped into the box in the sixth against Wright and homered again, knocking him out of the game. In all, the Royals managed just six baserunners, four hits and two walks, against the rookie pitcher, but they turned them into four runs. It was the second career multi-homer game for Cain, who collected his 15th and 16th big flies of the year. In the bottom of the sixth, Baltimore loaded the bases against Luke Hochevar without an out in the bottom of the sixth, but Ryan Madson entered to get out of the jam by yielding just one run.
Here's a question to answer in the comments below: If, on Opening Day, you were told that Lorenzo Cain have more home runs on September 11th than Eric Hosmer, what would you have said?
Speaking of surprising home run accomplishments by Royals players, Alex Rios hit one! In the seventh! His third of the year gave Kansas City a 5-3 lead, but the Orioles got the run back in the bottom half of the frame. The see-saw continued in the eighth when Salvador Perez lined a two-out single to plate Kansas City's sixth run, but once again, the Orioles earned it back. This time, though, they earned much more than just one run.
A double, an error, and an infield single loaded the bases for Nolan Reimold, who socked a 2-0 meatball from Kelvin Herrera off of the left-field foul pole for a grand slam. In case that wasn't enough, Manny Machado followed that with a home run of his own. The Orioles added another run later on. Oh yeah, and another grand slam by Steve Cleavenger. In the same inning. They plated 10 runs.
Somewhere in between the grand slams, Franklin Morales hit Chris Davis, who acted like a jackass, prompting Buck Showalter to act like a jackass and get ejected, which led to CBS Sports NFL analyst Jason La Canfora acting like a jackass:
Like anyone needed another reason to despise the Royals. Bush league. Toughest part is figuring out which guy most worthy of drilling Sat...— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 12, 2015
I know La Canfora needs glasses and all, but if you stand where the Royals are right now, even the strongest eyes can't see the Orioles at 16 games back. Oh, and right after he called one team "bush league", he put forth his suggestion in the "which Royal should get beaned on Saturday" sweepstakes:
@scroggie24 I vote Hosmer— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 12, 2015
The Royals are so good that it's prompting representatives for multi-million-dollar TV networks to throw them under the bus. It's really fun to be on top.
Where has this been all year? The Cleaver with the 2nd salami of the inning #theseroyalsarefrauds— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 12, 2015
@olbagofdonuts nope. They are impossible to like from ventura to Hosmer to moustakis to the fans voting backups to the all star game— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 12, 2015
Alright Givens, I know that ball is slippery. With that awkward delivery of yours and all, one might just get away from you...— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 12, 2015
What's even more amazing is that these are the Orioles that we as Royals fans were warned about last October, but they never arrived. If this had happened to Kansas City, we'd all be going insane.
Kendrys Morales was beaned with two outs in the ninth inning, and the silver lining with that is that hopefully, the retaliations are over and the two squads can just play two games without incident this weekend. Mike Moustakas drove in two runs at the very end, so at least he did something meaningful on his birthday.
Kansas City lost for just the second time in its last eight contests in Baltimore. It has still taken 10 of the last 13 The Royals are now 83-57 on the season. They still have the best record in the American League, but it's now down to just three games.
At least there's this:
The Orioles have now scored more runs in the last three innings than they did in the entire ALCS. Ahahahahahahah. #Royals— Sarah's Best Friend (@ryan_landreth) September 12, 2015
Tomorrow, the series continues early when Yordano Ventura (10-8, 4.34 ERA) squares off against Chris Tillman (9-11, 5.11). The game starts 12:05 Kansas City time and can be seen on Fox.