It was a back-and-forth, wild affair on Sunday afternoon, but the Royals used two big home runs to beat the Tigers, 8-5, and salvage a split in the four-game series.
The Tigers jumped to a 2-0 lead on Erik Skoglund, and Francisco Liriano held the Royals scoreless through the first five innings.
Then came the sixth inning - the Sonic Slam inning.
Whit Merrifield cranked a line-drive homer to put Kansas City on the board and make it 2-1. Then Cheslor Cuthberg doubled, Jorge Soler walked, and Paulo Orlando walked, and the bases were loaded for Abraham Almonte. He absolutely unloaded on an Alex Wilson offering, cranking a grand slam into the right field seats. It was one of the most improbable moments of the season, but quietly, Almonte has raised his average to .242 over the last few games. It was his second homer of the year, and the Royals grabbed a 5-2 lead.
Of course, the Royals didn’t need much time to give the three-run lead up. Skoglund walked the first two hitters he faced. Kevin McCarthy came on in relief, and he allowed runs during three of his first four batters faced. Detroit tied the game, 5-5.
But in the seventh, Mike Moustakas grabbed the three-run lead right back by walloping a towering home run into the right-field seats. It came after Drew Butera and Cuthbert walked, giving the Royals their three-run cushion like it never left. 8-5, Royals.
McCarthy, despite getting a blown save, earned the win with Moustakas’ blast. He is 1-0 on the year.
Brian Flynn and Kelvin Herrera shut down the Tigers by facing one over the minimum through the last three innings. Herrera was fantastic in a 1-2-3 ninth, earning his fourth save in four chances this year.
The Royals are 5-15. They didn’t lose a series for the first time this year. Baby steps!
I know that this is what the Internet is for and what not, but I’m curious when the last time the Royals scored at least eight runs and they all came on homers was. It just looks weird to see in the box score. The team is starting to pick it up, though, as they’ve homered in seven of their last eight games.
More box score notes: Jorge Soler walked three times, which raised his OBP to .415. He has the best eye on the team. Additionally, Mike Moustakas already has 17 RBIs, which is fifth in the American League.
Up next: the Royals get an off day tomorrow before welcoming Lorenzo Cain and the Milwaukee Brewers into Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday. Barring something unforeseen, Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon should be back with the team for the next game.