The first three innings of this game were rather uneventful. Derek Holland
was perfect had a no-hitter while Travis Wood had allowed three hits but also struck out 3 and caught Yolmer Sanchez trying to steal third.
That all changed in the fourth inning.
Whit Merrifield blasted a home run to lead off the inning, then Jorge Bonifacio followed up with one of his own. Eric Hosmer battled for a bit with Holland before also taking him deep. It was the first time the Royals had gone back-to-back-to-back since 2006 when such luminaries as Tony Graffanino, Angel Berroa, and Doug Mientkiewicz pulled off the feat. Royals up 3-0.
Travis decided Wood not be outdone the following inning. He convinced Yoan Moncada to ground out but then, much like Magneto with the X-Men, he betrayed his supposed friends and allowed three straight singles before Adam Engel turned into a Colossus and hit a 3-run double to tie the game. Wood got a line drive out but was then pulled for Kevin McCarthy. Travis Wood has made 3 starts so far this season and still has not yet completed 5 innings since 2015.
McCarthy gave up an RBI double to Jose Abreu and the White Sox had the lead.
The game then quieted again, but it was the quiet before the Storm. Much has been made of Whit Merrifield’s increased protein diet and exercise routine during the off-season but it seems maybe someone slipped a bit of Cap’s super soldier serum into those eggs because he has really muscled up lately. He leads the majors in doubles in the month of July and today he completed his first two-home-run game by walloping another against White Sox reliever Dan Jennings to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning. Tie game.
Kelvin Herrera came in like Pyro and threw flame by the White Sox in the ninth, striking out 2. Whit also showed off his Spider Sense in making a diving stop and off-balance throw for a web gem to record the other out.
In the bottom of the ninth Mike Moustakas led off the inning with a line-drive single into left before being lifted for pinch runner Lorenzo Cain. Cain - a.k.a. Quicksilver - took second on a wild pitch that barely got away from Omar Narvaez. Alcides Escobar apparently has Wolverine’s healing factor because he took another pitch off his left hand/wrist area before strolling down to first base as if nothing were wrong. Brandon Moss then continued to demonstrate his transformation into baseball Hulk by angrily smashing a 1-2 pitch down the right field line for an RBI single to finish the victory.
Kelvin Herrera got the win, the Royals got the sweep and completed the home stand at 6-4 and on a 5-game winning streak. Tomorrow the Royals will start a lengthy road trip in Detroit where Jason Hammel will face off against Justin Verlander.