Nate Karns made Royals history tonight.
Nathan Karns is the first Royal ever to strike out 12 in five innings.— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) May 14, 2017
For those keeping track at home, that meant only 3 of his outs came in another fashion: a Seth Smith fly out to lead off the game, a Manny Machado line out in the third, and a Chris Davis line out in the fourth.
He had a streak of 5 straight strikeouts snapped in the third when former Royals catcher (for 8 games) Francisco Pena hit a solo home run to tie the game.
The Royals had scored in the bottom of the 2nd when Eric Hosmer doubled and Salvador Perez drove him home. Hosmer went 2 for 2 tonight with 2 walks. Pop quiz: What is his average now?* He is definitely in the midst of one of his hot streaks. If my math is right (since b-r will take until the morning to update), that makes him .433/.485/.633 over his last 16 games.
Karns actually left the game trailing 2-1 as Pena hit another home run in the 5th. For the record: he had 1 home run and a .275 SLG in 51 MLB ABs before today. The Baltimore broadcast mentioned that before the game he had promised to hit one for his mom tonight.
In the bottom of the 5th, the Royals got it going with, you guessed it, #EskyMagic. I'm sure it has not gone unnoticed that they are 5-1 since reinstalling him atop the lineup. Alcides Escobar singled to start off the inning. Mike Moustakas followed with another single. Baltimore starter Chris Tillman threw a wild pitch and the runners moved up. Lorenzo Cain drove Esky home with a sacrifice fly. Hosmer walked and Tillman's night was over. Alec Asher came in and plunked Perez to load the bases. Jorge Bonifacio, starting for the injured Alex Gordon, hit the second sacrifice fly of the inning and the Royals had the lead back.
Seth Maness, who had experimental surgery to avoid Tommy John, made his Royals debut in the 6th. Unfortunately, the broadcast probably didn’t get too far into his story as, 4 pitches in,Chris Davis took him over the wall to tie the game.
It only took a single pitch in the bottom of the 6th for Brandon Moss to untie the game. His second home run in as many games was a missile screaming out to right.
Brandon Moss' exit velocity on that home run was 112.4 mph.— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) May 14, 2017
From there, it was in the hands of the bullpen. Mike Minor went two perfect innings and Herrera went 1-2-3 in the 9th for his 7th save of the season.
Seth Maness goes to 1-0 in the logical world of pitcher wins. A comment in the game thread captured this perfectly (FYI: I’m not aware of a good way to do sarcasm font in recap):
Hats off to Seth Maness. Really looked great out there tonight picking up the win. Nice to have a bullpen that can come in and pick you up when the starter has a bad night and only lasts five innings
The Royals have won 3 in a row and 5 of 6. They have picked up their second straight series win and are 8-5 in May. For Mother's Day tomorrow, it's Kevin Gausman for the Orioles and Chris Young for the Royals.
*answer: Hosmer is now hitting .299 on the season