After watching three straight games of ugly, ugly baseball, the Royals put together a well-rounded game against their fellow Missouri team.
Things didn’t start out so bright and pretty, with the Cardinals scoring the game’s first run on a Jose Martinez/Marcell Ozuna double-steal. The Royals would answer right away though with Alex Gordon tying on a solo-shot, one of his three hits on the night.
From the second inning on, the Cardinals offense would remain quiet. Jason Hammel ended his string of struggles, going seven innings deep of one-run ball, striking out six and walking none.
Coming to Hammel’s aid was Alcides Escobar in the fourth inning, knocking an RBI double on a 3-2 count with two outs (pitcher on deck). The Royals would add on to the lead with Salvador Perez blasting a home run in the sixth, giving him seven in 28 games this season.
With Hammel going seven, the bridge to Kelvin Herrera was nice and easy, as Brad Keller pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning, grabbing his fifth hold on the season.
Greg Holland came in to pitch the ninth frame, facing the Royals for the second time in his career. The results weren’t much better than last time, allowing four of the four batters he faced to reach, surrendering two runs to put his ERA at 8.76.
Kelvin Herrera made it interesting for a second in bottom frame of that inning, allowing hits to the first two he faced. But a well-struck ball hit right at Ryan Goins that resulted in a double play and a strike out of Jedd Gyorko gave the Kelvin Herrera the scoreless frame, leading the Royals to win #15.
Noon game tomorrow. The rubber game of this series will perhaps feature the best pitching matchup of the series, in a showdown of Jake Junis and Michael Wacha.