The Royals FINALLY scored a run, then went on to score five more in a 6-2 win over the Rays. They snapped a franchise-record scoreless streak at 45 innings, and also snapped a five-game losing streak.
Whit Merrifield was the hero who ended the scoring drought with a solo home run in the third inning to put the Royals on top 1-0. It was the first run scored for the Royals since Brandon Moss homered in the second inning of Thursday’s game against the Rockies. That 45 inning scoreless streak was the longest such streak since the 1968 Cubs went 48 innings without a run.
The Royals enjoyed the feeling of scoring so much, that they did it again the very next innings. Mike Moustakas singled home Eric Hosmer to give the Royals a veritable offensive explosion and a 2-0 lead.
The game was slowed by several challenges, the Royals going 3-for-3 on challenges for the night, including a bizarre play where Lucas Duda swung and missed on a pitch that hit him. The play was originally ruled a hit-by-pitch with a runner stealing second, but upon further review, the hit-by-pitch was ruled a dead ball and a strikeout, since Duda swung, with the runner brought back to first base.
The play ended up being big, as Evan Longoria followed up with a single, driving Jake Junis out of the game. Junis ended the night with a very efficient 5 2⁄3 innings of work on 73 pitches with just three hits allowed, no walks, and a career-high eight strikeouts. Reliever Scott Alexander would give up a hit to Logan Morrison to put the Rays on the board, but Tampa Bay would leave the bases loaded without scoring any more runs.
In the sixth, Jorge Bonifacio smacked his 16th home run of the year to make it 3-1. Brad Miller answered with a solo shot in the seventh to bring the Rays within a run. But the Royals put it away in the bottom of the inning on a three-run home run by Eric Hosmer to make it 6-2. Kelvin Herrera pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to end the game.
The Royals improve to 65-66 and seemed to have their offense going again for the first time in a week. Perhaps the darkest part of the night is past the team and sunny days are ahead. In any case, it is nice to see a Royals player cross that white plate-looking thing.