A grand slam by Curtis Granderson keyed a five-run fourth inning that propelled the Toronto Blue Jays to a 6-5 win over the Royals on Wednesday evening. Salvador Perez provided the fire power for the Royals with two home runs, becoming the fifth player in franchise history to reach the 20 home run plateau in four consecutive seasons. But the Blue Jays sent eight men to the plate in the fourth against Jorge Lopez, who was making his Royals debut.
Lopez, who was acquired from the Brewers in July in the Mike Moustakas trade, started well with a 1-2-3 first inning on three fly outs. The Royals jumped on the board first in the bottom of the inning with a Whit Merrifield walk to lead off the inning, followed shortly after by a Salvador Perez home run off Jays starer Marco Estrada to make it 2-0 Royals.
The Jays got on the board in the second on an RBI single by Kevin Pillar to make it 2-1. They threatened again in the third, but a nice throw from Brett Phillips nailed Richard Urena at the plate, after he was trying to score from second on a single from Randal Grichuk.
Things fell apart for Lopez in the fourth. After a leadoff single by Teoscar Hernandez, Lopez plunked Russel Martin. Kevin Pillar singled to load the bases, and the bases remained loaded after Aledmys Diaz drove in a run on a single to tie the game. The Royals, who have allowed the most grand slams in the Majors this year, gave up their tenth of the season when Granderson deposited a Lopez pitch into the bullpen in right field to give the Jays a 6-2 lead.
Curtis Granderson? More like Curtis GranderSLAM! pic.twitter.com/DFVhJu6FNe— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) August 16, 2018
The Royals battled back, with Salvy hitting his second home run in as many at-bats in the bottom of the fourth. It is just the fifth multi-home run game of Salvy’s career, the last one coming last September 6 against Detroit.
Salvador Pérez has his 4th career multi-HR game as a Royals catcher. Only John Buck has more (5) in franchise history. pic.twitter.com/S34PNAgWXE— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 16, 2018
Oh wow, John Buck.
Brett Phillips would triple and later score on an Alcides Escobar RBI single to knock Estrada out of the game in the seventh to make it 6-4. Pinch-hitter Ryan O’Hearn hit his third Major League home run in the bottom of the ninth off closer Ken Giles to pull the Royals within a run. But Phillips and Escobar were retired to end the game.
Jorge Lopez battled through 4 2⁄3 innings, giving up six runs with two walks and three strikeouts, showing some decent stuff at times but also a lot of inconsistency. Burch Smith, who was originally scheduled to start tonight, pitched 2 1⁄3 of shutout baseball in relief.
Salvy Perez on Jorge Lopez: “He was great. He’s got really great stuff. I know he’s only 25 years old and he’s got a lot to learn but his stuff is amazing. Great curve, slider, good changeup, good four-seamer, good two-seamer. He just needs experience. Going to be really good.”— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) August 16, 2018
The Royals had a nice little spurt immediately after the All-Star break, but have now lost 13 of their last 17. But at least the younger players are taking a bit more of a role now. There will be some growing pains, but the Royals need to see what they have, and that probably means more Jorge Lopez.