The Royals won a series. Everybody celebrate!
It was really pretty at times... and then it wasn’t... and then it was. But the end result is all that matters, and Kansas City beat Texas 5-3 on Sunday afternoon.
The Royals didn’t waste much time getting going on offense. Jon Jay, who continues to be one of baseball’s best hitters in May, led off with a single. A hit and two outs later, Hunter Dozier delivered a two-out, two-run single up the middle to give the Royals a 2-0 lead. It’s been a fabulous series overall for Dozier, who had multiple hits in all three games this weekend.
Cole Hammels, typically one of baseball’s better starting pitchers, was all over the place. The result was the Royals striking for five runs in the first three innings. Drew Butera and Salvador Perez homered in the second and third inning to push Kansas City’s lead to 5-0.
Jason Hammel, in the heart (and heat) of Texas, was fabulous. He probably put forth his best start as a Royal. He struck out 10 batters, his highest total since joining the team last year, in 5.1 scoreless innings. He used a lot of pitches to work so many strikeouts, but he still was able to work deep enough to qualify for a win.
Hammel’s final line: 5.1 innings, four hits, no runs, and 10 strikeouts. That is consecutive excellent starts for him, as his ERA has gone from 6.28 to 5.23 in the last 10 days.
Texas got some offense going in the seventh inning against Eric Stout, who just got back to Kansas City. Joey Gallo and Robinson Chirinos both socked homers to draw Texas within two runs at 5-3.
The Rangers had the opportunity to really screw up Hammel’s bid for a victory, but Jason Adam shined when it mattered most. He got into a first-and-third, one-out jam, and fell behind Joey Gallo 3-0. But he then threw four straight fastballs to fight back and strike out Gallo, and then he retired Rougned Odor to retire the side.
Kelvin Herrera continues to be absolutely dominant this year. He faced the minimum in a scoreless ninth inning to earn save #11 on the season.
Cole Hamels allowed five more basrunners than Jason Hammel, but he outlasted him from an innings perspective. He was lifted with one out in the seventh inning after allowing five runs on eight hits and four walks.
Hammel got the win. He is 2-5.
And now it’s time for my weekly Steve Physioc complaint. I had to drive from one destination to the other in the middle innings. It took 10 minutes in the car for me to hear Physioc refer to SIX different players by their first name. It’s like he’s known them his whole life or something. “They were looking to avoid a double-play, so that’s why they sent Jon.” “Man, Cole did just not have his good stuff.” “Drew hits that one to third.” It is maddening to listen to, I tell you. I can’t believe that the Royals give him a microphone and pay him to talk into it.
The Royals are 18-35. Up next: they’ll return home for a series with Minnesota.