For all that Jakob Junis continues to unreasonably be compared to Corey Kluber he actually out-dueled him, tonight. Kluber pitched very, very well but the Royals dinked and doinked him to the tune of three runs in five innings. Junis also gave up three runs but pitched six innings. They allowed the same number of baserunners and struck out the same number. Kluber got jobbed a bit by his defense and the official scorer, however. Melky Cabrera charged in on a Whit Merrifield line drive in the fifth inning and it zipped over his head and off his glove. This was officially ruled a two-RBI double.
Still, the game was tied as Kluber exited and he handed the ball off to Andrew Miller. The same Andrew Miller who terrorized late-game opponents from 2013 - 2017. He had a 3.24 ERA entering tonight’s game. Not bad, not as good as he used to be able to manage, but not bad. He exited the game with an ugly 4.24 ERA. He allowed four runs in only two-thirds of an inning pitched. Notably, he allowed a three-run home run to Adalberto Mondesi of the fringy power and a single to lefty Ryan O’Hearn, who has struggled mightily against other lefties and had no answers for Corey Kluber during this game. Another former notably good reliever, Cody Allen, allowed the other two runs to ensure the Royals won the game easily.
Mondesi, by the way, has the fourth best all-time mark for home runs by a shortstop in a single season for Kansas City. He has done this in fewer games than anyone ahead of him and each of the next 16 qualifying seasons. In 2007 Jason Smith hit six home runs in only 40 games to take the twenty-first position.
The Royals have now guaranteed a single winning month, this year, even if they lose tomorrow. Carlos Carrasco will face off against Eric Skoglund in the final game of the regular season. It would be nice to see Eric end the season on a high note before competing once again for a rotation spot next summer.