- Royals bunched their hits together
- Joakim Soria needs to re-visit how not to balk
- Jarrod Dyson misplayed a fly ball into a ground-rule double
- The Nationals hit dingers
- Bryce Harper was shut down
Finally. Runs. Lots of runs. Also more runs than the other team. It took awhile, but it finally happened. Not only did the Royals win, but they had a late comeback to win. That's not like the awful Royals of yesteryears. That's the now Royals. The good Royals.
It did not start out well, though. The Royals did not make Tanner Roark work until the third inning. Roark threw only 12 pitches to get through the first two innings as the Royals were aggressive out of the gate. However, they slowed down a bit in the third. Omar Infante led off the inning with a walk. On a hit-and-run play, Infante advanced to second on a ground ball from Christian Colon. The hit-and-run likely saved a double play, which turned out to be very important. Jarrod Dyson walked, then Alcides Escobar lofted a weak, line-drive-ish single into right field to score Infante. Thus, the 12-inning scoreless streak was over.
Thankfully, the scoring was not over. With Dyson on third and Escobar on second after a stolen base, Eric Hosmer hit a hard grounder past a diving Daniel Murphy to score both Dyson and Escobar. Three runs in one inning! Holy 1080 feet, Batman!
Too bad that Chris Young gave up dingers in the first and fourth innings. The second batter of the game, Anthony Rendon, flicked a fastball over the left field fence. Daniel Murphy hit a homer beyond the right field fence to a place where I often stand to watch games in person. I could have caught that.
After the dingers, Young ran into more trouble in the fifth. He gave up no-out singles to Wilson Ramos and Danny Espinosa before striking out Chris Heisey. He then got Michael Taylor to ground out, but the Royals could not turn two. Young followed with a walk to Anthony Rendon, and that was it for him. Ned Yost called upon Luke Hochevar to put out the fire with Bryce Harper at the plate. FireHoch induced a grounder to end the inning without any runs scoring.
Young's final line: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 2 HR.
Hochevar came back out for the sixth inning and could not put out his own fire, though he did not get much help from his defense. With men on first and third after two singles, Ramos hit a fly ball to deep right field, and Dyson misplayed it into a ground-rule double. Dyson tracked left, but the ball sliced right; he fell over trying to make the catch. One run in. Danny Espinosa hit a grounder to Infante at second, who had a rough time fielding the ball but still got the out. Unfortunately, Jayson Werth scored. Two runs in. Chris Heisey followed with a deep triple to center field. Three runs in. Just like that, the game flipped.
That was it for Hoch; Yost brought on Joakim Soria to try to end the sixth. Soria got Michael Taylor to fly out to right field to end the inning.
Eric Hosmer led off the bottom half of the inning trying to bunt for a hit. Mmkay. The inning was over before I could finish typing that sentence.
Soria came back out for the seventh and nearly gave up another run. He allowed a double to Ryan Zimmermann with two outs and balked him over to third. However, he was able to induce the third out without Zim scoring.
With the Royals behind, Dillon Gee came on for the eighth. He promptly gave up a dinger to Werth and a double to Ramos but did not allow anything else.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Royals finally chased Roark. Back to back singles by Escobar and Lorenzo Cain put runners on the corners with only one out for Hosmer. Dusty Baker brought in lefty Felipe Rivero to face Hosmer, who hit a grounder up the middle but avoided the double play. Escobar scored. Kendrys Morales was unable to keep the line moving, so the threat ended with only one run scored.
Alex Gordon led off the ninth inning with a check-swing grounder away from the shift, so he made it on base. Salvador Perez followed with a liner to left field, which put Gordon on third. Terrance Gore pinch-ran for Perez at first, putting runners at the corners (though not for long - Gore stole second on the first pitch) for Infante, who struck out. Yost decided to pinch-hit Mike Moustakas, who did not start due to thumb issues, for Christian Colon.
Moustakas rewarded everyone by singling up the middle, which scored both Gordon and Gore to tie the game. Escobar followed with another single, and Moose moved up to third base on the hit.
That brought up struggling, slumping Lorenzo Cain. With runners at the corners, the winning run only 90 feet away, Cain drove the ball to left-center field. Michael Taylor dove for it, but he could not quite make the catch.
This is a familiar feeling. The Royals were down but came back late. This is a good familiar feeling.