We’ve all heard a lot about how Petco Park suppresses home runs, but the Royals and Padres combined to hit 7 more, today. That gives the two teams 15 in the weekend series. There was definitely plenty of offense in this series.
Things got started early for the Royals in this one. Dinelson Lamet retired the first two Royals hitters he faced but pretty obviously wanted nothing to do with Lorenzo Cain and walked him. He then proceeded to reach a 3-1 count with Eric Hosmer, including a pair of wild pitches that moved Cain to third. Eric laced a line drive single into left field to put the Royals on the board.
Ordinarily Royals fans everywhere would be celebrating the early lead loudly, but the Royals weren’t going to stop there.
Salvador Perez hit a single of his own and then Mike Moustakas absolutely destroyed the first pitch he saw way back in right field for a 3-run home run and the early 4-0 lead.
Lamet kept the Royals quiet until the fourth inning when Alex Gordon took him 2 rows deep in right field to extend the lead to 5-0.
In the fifth inning Eric Hosmer unloaded a 2-run bomb into right field to give the Royals their sixth and seventh runs. Moose belted a second home run, this time just over the fence in left field to lead off the eighth inning. Yes, left field. OppoMoose isn’t quite dead, yet.
Salvador Perez left the game for a pinch hitter following Hosmer’s blast; he’d been grabbing at his ribs after swinging in the previous at-bat but stayed in the game. Eventually we discovered he was removed for precautionary reasons with left-side tightness.
Jake Junis only made a three mistakes that were taken advantage of; two to Cory Spangenberg who hit his second and third home runs of the season and then one to Jose Pirela leading off the eighth inning which got him pulled for Scott Alexander. Junis’ final line was 7+ innings, 6 hits, 1 walk, 6 strike outs but 3 home runs. The home runs are worrisome, but everything else looks good and he did the thing the Royals most needed him to do - he ate innings.
Scott Alexander closed out the game by pitching the final two innings - striking out the side in the eighth and 3 ground balls to Moose in the ninth. Alexander probably did that in thanks to Moose for that home run in the eighth - it meant Alexander got to “swing” and he flailed pretty miserably but he didn’t strike out. His at-bat ended with a slow roller to second base.
The Royals have repaired this road trip after an inauspicious start, it will continue Tuesday in San Francisco when Jason Vargas will face Ty Blach.