This was the year of the home run, but the Royals were not able to keep up with their colleagues around the league. Although the 146 home runs hit by the club were the ninth-most in franchise history, they still finished dead last in the American League in round-trippers.
Still, they had some memorable blasts - game-winners, moonshots, home runs in the national spotlight. Here are the top home runs for the Royals in 2016.
May 10 vs. NY Yankees - Lorenzo Cain’s three home run night
Yankee Stadium is a home run haven, and Lorenzo Cain took full advantage of that. The Yankees jumped on starter Kris Medlen early, but Lorenzo Cain put the Royals ahead in the third with an opposite field blast to right. The Yankees battled back to take a 5-3 lead, but Cain put the Royals on top again in the fifth with a three-run blast, this time off the back of the bullpen wall in left-center. The Yankees again took the lead, but Cain would not give up, tying the game in the eighth with his third home run of the night, tying a franchise record.
June 30 vs. St. Louis - Kendrys hits the third deck
Kendrys Morales was locked and loaded in the month of June. After a disastrous start to the season, Morales was en fuego in June, hitting .402 with five home runs including a mammoth blast in the eighth inning of a game in St. Louis. Already up 3-2, Morales delivered a solo blast off Tyler Lyons that hit the third deck at Busch Stadium. Statcast put the blast at 456 feet, one of many tape measure shots Morales would deliver in 2016.
July 12 vs. the National League - Eric Hosmer’s All-Star home run
Fans around baseball again complained when it looked like Royals fans were stuffing the All-Star ballot for the boys in blue. Omar Infante was not elected to start the Midsummer Classic in San Diego, but Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez were starters on the American League squad. With the spotlight on them, the Royals reps rose to the occasion. Hosmer blasted a pitch from former teammate Johnny Cueto into the left field seats for a solo home run to tie the game 1-1. That would be one of two RBI for Hosmer in the game, as he would eventually be named All-Star Game MVP.
July 18 vs. Cleveland - Jarrod Dyson’s grand slam
The Royals trailed 2-0 heading into the bottom of the eighth facing Indians reliever Bryan Shaw. Christian Colon tied it with a two-run double and Paulo Orlando would put the Royals on top with an RBI single. But Jarrod Dyson would put the cherry on top when the Royals loaded the bases. The light-hitting speedster drilled a fly ball deep down the right field line for a grand slam, capping off a seven-run inning.
August 7 vs. Toronto - Kendrys Morales’ mammoth grand slam
The Blue Jays scratched together a run in the top of the seventh to trail 3-1, but any hopes of a comeback were dashed in the bottom of the inning. The Royals opened the inning with three straight singles to load the bases, but reliever Brett Cecil looked to get out of the inning with back-to-back strikeouts. That brought up slugger Kendrys Morales, who delivered the knockout punch, hammering a pitch to dead center field, 459 feet away, for his only grand slam of the season.
September 5 vs. Minnesota - Denny Matthews predicts Kendrys Morales’ home run
The Royals trailed the Twins 4-2, when Kendrys Morales stepped to the plate with two on against Jose Berrios. The Twins have been awful all year, and Berrios, a talented pitcher, had been awful in his brief Major League career, so perhaps it wasn’t too much of a stretch to think something wonderful might happen for the Royals. But Denny Matthews was perhaps a bit prescient when he predicted Morales might do some damage.
Denny Matthews: "hopefully the Royals are about to hear a very loud noise *CRACK* There it is, and it's gone. Home run Morales." Well done— Brennan Mense (@BrennanMense) September 5, 2016
Morales absolutely destroyed a pitch over all the seats in right field for a three-run home run to give the Royals the lead. It would be one of six home runs he would hit against the Twins this year.
September 24 vs. Detroit - Hosmer crushes the Tigers’ chances
The Royals may have been realistically out of contention by the time they faced the Tigers, but they had a chance to play spoiler for the Tigers, who were looking for a Wild Card spot. The Royals trailed 4-2 going into the ninth, but mounted a furious rally against closer Francisco Rodriguez. Paulo Orlando tied the game with a two-run double, and a walk to Cheslor Cuthbert brought up Eric Hosmer. Hosmer golfed a pitch out to right for a three-run home run to put the Royals on top for good, severely damaging the Tigers’ hopes for a playoff run.