It was up and down throughout the day, but the Royals put together their first sweep of the Cleveland Indians in three years. They walked off on Cleveland, 9-8, to win their third game in a row.
Baseball is kind of fun again!
Despite being in a 3-0 hole before they hit for the first time, the Royals ambushed Corey Kluber and forced him into his worst career start against Kansas City. Lucas Duda blasted a three-run homer in the second inning. Whit Merrifield hit an opposite-field jack to make it 4-0. And then in the third, four different Royals walked, including two with the bases loaded, to chase Kluber after just 2.2 innings pitched.
By the time Kluber departed, the score was 6-3, and 89 pitches had been thrown to get just eight outs. He allowed six runs, walked five, and gave up two homers.
Cleveland got two runs back in the fourth, but the Royals responded with a bunt RBI single by am Gallagher in the fifth. Jorge Soler hit a booming homer to center field to make it 8-5, and it appeared that the Royals were in a position to coast to a win.
Of course, that’s when the bullpen happened. Cleveland got three runs in the seventh to pull even with Kansas City as Jake Newberry gave up a ton of runs. I, for one, am shocked that Jake Newberry isn’t the next Mariano Rivera. All of those runs were charged to Richard Lovelady, who should have never been pulled from the game. Remember how Kyle Zimmer was demoted because there wasn’t enough room in the pen for him? It’s an absolute embarrassment that he’s not here when you look at the other names in this bullpen.
Now, in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Royals of old came out with their late-inning magic. After two scoreless innings of relief by Brad Boxberger and Wily Peralta, Ryan O’Hearn worked a gutsy walk to lead off the frame. Pinch runner Terrance Gore came in and swiped second, and he went to third on a throwing error. Then, one pitch later, Hunter Dozier banged a game-winning single to left field. Walk-off. Sweep.
I’d say these guys needed that, huh? They’re just 5-10 on the year, but those were three really nice wins they put together this weekend.
Jake Junis got plenty of run support, but he was all over the place in this game. He did make it through 6.1 innings, but he allowed five runs on eight hits and threw 105 pitches. His ERA is 6.14 through four starts this year.
Wily Peralta got the win after pitching a scoreless ninth inning.
Up next: the Royals, who it seems have played every game this year at home, hit the road to face Chicago in a series that starts on Monday night. Heath Fillmyer will get the start.