The Royals slammed four first inning home runs and clobbered Orioles starter Dylan Bundy in a 15-7 win over the Orioles in the series opener on Tuesday. Bundy left the game without recording a single out, becoming the first pitcher ever to give up that many home runs without retiring a hitter.
The Royals got things started immediately. Jon Jay led the game off with a single, and Jorge Soler sent a high drive out of Camden Yards that landed 420 feet away to make it 2-0 Royals. Mike Moustakas would continue his torrid start with his ninth home run of the year - becoming just the 95th hitter ever to send a ball onto Eutaw Street outside of Camden Yards. Salvador Perez made it back-to-back-to-back jacks to make it 4-0 before most Orioles fans had even taken their seats.
Bundy probably didn’t feel like giving up a fourth consecutive home run, so he walked the next two hitters, Lucas Duda and Whit Merrifield. That set things up for Alex Gordon, who has been on fire since coming off the disabled list on April 24. Gordo continued his hot hitting with his third home run in his last six games, a three-run shot that made it 7-0 Royals.
That would end Bundy’s night, but the Royals scoring was not quite finished yet. Four more singles would plate three more runs, and by the time the first inning was over, the Royals already led 10-0.
Royals entered tonight's game having scored 24 total first-inning runs in their first 34 games. They put up 10 in the first tonight. #baseballman— Pete Grathoff (@pgrathoff) May 8, 2018
All Danny Duffy had to do was just kinda toss the ball up there and let the BABIP gods sort things out, but he pitched much better than in previous starts, giving up just one run over 5 1⁄3 innings of work with five strikeouts and one walk, giving up just a solo home run to Chris Davis.
Mike Moustakas would add his second home run of the contest, a two-run shot, and the Royals would stretch the lead to 15-1 by the seventh inning stretch. Had it not been for an off day yesterday, we might have seen a position player pitch. The Orioles grabbed some garbage time runs off Burch Smith and Blaine Boyer in the last two frames to make it 15-7, but the game was never in doubt. Okay, kinda in doubt only because Blaine Boyer is so unbelievably bad at pitching right now. He has given up 25 runs in just 12 1⁄3 innings - that is more runs than the enigmatic Joakim Soria gave up all of last year in 56 innings. Seriously, I would have rather had a position player finish the game on the mound.
But thank the awakening offense for the big win tonight. The Royals collected 20 hits, just the 42nd time in franchise history they have reached that plateau in a game. Alex Gordon had his first four-hit game since July 7, 2015. Mike Moustakas had three hits and drove in five. Jon Jay and Jorge Soler each contributed with three hits apiece. Every starter had a hit except Lucas Duda. Danny Duffy picked up his first win of the season.
If the Royals got to play the Tigers and Orioles every night for the rest of the year, I’d feel better about their playoff chances. They won’t but at least the Royals get two more games in Baltimore, hopefully the bats will remain hot in Maryland.