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Orioles bludgeon Kennedy, Royals

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Salvy birthday slam in the first; pretty much downhill after that

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Baltimore Orioles
I know I should use a downer picture but how do you deny a Salvy birthday slam?
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight’s game started out promising, possibly mirroring the series opener. However, it ended with a thud as the Orioles put up double digit runs and the Royals could not keep up.

Chris Tillman, the Orioles starter, was bad in 2017 with a (not a misprint) 7.84 ERA. Coming into the game, this year has been even worse: (still not a misprint) 9.24 ERA. His ERA actually went up in the game. Things started well.

The first three Royals reached base: Jon Jay singled, Jorge Soler walked, and Mike Moustakas walked. Salvador Perez, celebrating his 28th birthday, cleared the bases with his 4th home run of the year. So, after 4 batters, the Royals were up 4-0.

Scoring Pace after 4 batters: Royals (Infinity) Orioles (Div by 0 error)

Unlike Tillman, Ian Kennedy had been having a fine season with a 2.92 ERA. His night started poorly, as well. His first three batters all scored: Trey Mancini doubled, Adam Jones doubled, and Manny Machado homered. After that, though, Kennedy appeared to settle in and got the next 6 in order.

Scoring Pace after 1 inning: Royals 36 Orioles 27

The Royals, possibly sensing 4-3 would not be the final tally, continued to pile on Tillman. Cheslor Cuthbert walked and Alcides Escobar reached on an error. Jay sacrificed the runners to 2nd and 3rd and Jorge Soler singled up the middle. The Royals led 6-3.

11 batters into the game, Tillman had given up 6 runs, 5 earned, and was done for the night. His outs had an odd profile: ground out, double play, and sacrifice. He recorded four outs from 3 batters and one of them was gifted to him by the opposition after his team failed to record one. His 9.24 ERA went up to 10.46. Take that, Blaine Boyer!

Scoring Pace after 2 innings: Royals 27 Orioles 13.5

Unfortunately, this is the point in the recap where I blame our own Sean Thornton for the outcome of this game. He was the one who noticed Ian Kennedy was (operative word: “was”) having a good season.

Kennedy’s had only given up 4 home runs in his first 7 starts. His proclivity for allowing the long ball was bound to return. With an introduction like that, I think you all know what comes next. In the 3rd, with one on, Adam Jones hit his 6th home run of the season. In the 4th, with one on and two in, Trey Mancini hit his 4th of the season. By the time Kennedy had finished the inning, the lead was gone and his season ERA had added more than a run and a half to 4.61.

In case you’re wondering, here are the starting pitcher stats on the night:

  • Chris Tillman 33.75 ERA, 19.67 FIP
  • Ian Kennedy 20.25 ERA, 12.42 FIP

Scoring Pace after 4 innings: Orioles 18 Royals 13.5

For the Royals hitters, missed opportunities started to pile up. After Tillman was relieved by Miguel Castro in the 2nd, Kansas City had 2 on with one out but Salvy grounded into a double play. In the 3rd, a Lucas Duda double and Whit Merrifield walk aided by a balk put runners at 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. But Cheslor Cuthbert and Alcides Escobar could not get them home. In the 4th, they had a runner erased with a double play. In the 5th, 6th, and 8th, runners were stranded at 2nd.

The Orioles tacked on single runs in the 5th and 6th off Brian Flynn. White flag Drew Butera* came in for Salvador Perez in the 7th and that’s all she wrote. On the plus side, Jason Adam threw 2 more scoreless innings.

Final Score: Orioles 11 Royals 6

With their series win, the Orioles now have double digit wins at 10-27. Meanwhile, the Royals have fallen to 12-25. But, hey, at least that’s 1.5 games clear of the idle 9-25 White Sox in the AL Central cellar. The Royals continue their road trip with a weekend series in Cleveland.

*hat tip to Phil