The Royals traded Wade Davis, then claimed they were all in, and then stumbled and fumbled their way to the finish line. That’s how it goes.
On a night when seemingly nobody was watching, and on a night when nobody had ever heard of the starting pitcher, the Royals took a 2-1 lead against Minnesota into the last inning. Then their All-Star, World Series champion closer blew yet another save. The result: a 4-1 loss.
Sam Gaviglio, acquired last month in a trade with the Mariners, shut down a punchless Minnesota lineup. He went through five innings and allowed just one run, which was a solo homer by Robbie Grossman in the fifth inning.
The Royals answered in the home half of that frame. Alcides Escobar scored, and then Alex Gordon singled him home. After eventually winning the game, the Royals improved to 26-2 this year when Gordon has an RBI.
Whit Merrifield had an RBI single later in the inning that gave the Royals a 2-1 lead.
Scott Alexander, Peter Moylan, and Mike Minor worked through the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings without incident. But then Kelvin Herrera entered. There have been some issues with recent save situations with him. Maybe he’s hurt. Maybe he’s soft. Maybe he’s not good as a closer. Whatever. He blew another one.
Every time, Dave Eiland goes out right before Herrera blows it, and we’re all like “pull him now, we all know what’s coming.” And then Ned doesn’t pull him and he blows up like a gas can. It’s happened at least five times this year. That’s exactly what happened.
Brian Dozier hit a game-tying sacrifice fly. Jorge Polanco broke through with a two-run single. Brandon Maurer came in and (barely) got out of it without making it worse.
Herrera took the loss; he is 3-3. He has now gone for save #27 three times in the last three weeks. The first two times he stunk up the joint before leaving hurt, and this time he flat-out blew it. He’s not a closer. We already knew this. Next time, let’s catch it before he blows it, like right before he does, instead of after the fact.
Oh yeah: Wade Davis has more than twice as many saves as Jorge Soler has hits.
Tomorrow it’s Ian Kennedy and Ervin Santana. Oh golly gee, that sounds like fun.