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Two-dong Lindor drives in a bunch in Royals’ loss to Cleveland

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals
This is his boomstick
Peter G. Aiken

Facing reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, the lowly Royals offense got rambunctious in the home half of the first inning. Whit Merrifield kicked off the festivities with a 405-foot dong to left. After a Rosell Herrera groundout for the first out of the frame, Mike Moustakas punched a double off the end of his bat to center.

Salvador Pérez followed with a single to shallow center, plating Moustakas in spite of the fact that he charged through Mike Jirschele’s entirely justified stop sign at third. A tailor-made TOOTBLAN, the run only scored because Rajai Davis’s throw from center was well off the mark, and the relay throw that still nearly got Moustakas ended up coming from much closer to third base than on a line somewhere between Davis and home plate.

This was the first time all season that the Royals have scored more than a single run in an inning.* While the fact that the Royals scored two runs in an inning is being considered by the Vatican as a verifiable miracle, it still isn’t many by Major League Baseball’s standards. The Royals held that 2-0 lead for an entire inning.

*Not a true statement, but it was close enough to being true that you had to think about it.

After a scoreless second, Cleveland got on the board with two runs of their own. Rajai Davis led the frame off with a double, and Jakob Junis followed the ceded two-bagger up by brutally fielding a Francisco Lindor sacrifice bunt, sending Davis to third with Lindor reaching safely, too. Michael Brantley popped a sacrifice fly to right, plating Davis. José Ramírez doubled to put Clevelanders at second and third with just one out, and Edwin Encarnacion hit a sacrifice fly of his own, pushing Lindor across home, tying the game at two runs apiece.

The tie didn’t last long. That Lindor kid? He’s pretty damn good. In addition to being one of the game’s premier defensive shortstops, he’s got a lot of pop. Jakob Junis has some issues with the long ball. What happened next may as well have been etched into a stone tablet before the game.

After striking out Jason Kipnis to start what would become a complete clusterfuck of an inning, Junis yielded a groundball single through the right side of the infield to Yan Gomes. These things happen. He followed the single with two consecutive hit batsmen, plunking Tyler Naquin and Rajai Davis on two straight spectacularly poorly placed sliders. For those unaware of Cleveland’s batting order, Davis bats before Lindor.




6-2, those guys.

Junis served up a single to Brantley but got bailed out with a screaming liner to Lucas Duda at first off the bat of José Ramírez, doubling off Brantley as Duda was basically standing at the bag to hold the runner when the ball landed magically in the webbing of his glove.

At this point, the relative silence in this recap regarding the Royals’ efforts against Corey Kluber should be speaking volumes.

Junis worked a one-two-three fifth, but Naquin and Davis worked back-to-back one-out singles in the top of the sixth, and it seems like it’s already been established who bats after Davis.





9-2, those guys.

Junis’s night was over. With the end of his start and the prospect of the Royals scoring seven runs in three-plus innings an impossibility, so is this recap.