Of course, the game that ends the long losing streak is the one where they play the defending AL Cy Young Winner. Nothing makes any sense.
The Royals beat the Rays, 10-2, ending an 11-game losing streak against Tampa Bay. This is the Royals’ first win against the Rays since August 2017! It’s also tied for the most runs the team has scored all year. At the end of a rough road trip that saw the Royals lose all three series they participated in, it was a good way to put a frustrating week to bed.
From an early point, it became clear that things were going to go the Royals’ way on Wednesday afternoon. After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, Jake Junis was fabulous. He worked through five innings, allowing just the one run and scattering six baserunners throughout the afternoon. He struck out six and earned his second win of the year. It was kind of surprising that he only pitched 5.0 innings, because he only had 75 pitches at the point he was pulled. With the Royals leading 8-1 after the top of the sixth, you would have expected Junis to go back out for more. Later we found out that it was because of a hand contusion suffered on a jaw-dropping double play that Junis turned in the fifth. He snagged a hot liner right off the bat, knocking it down with mostly his glove, but also some of his hand. He is day-to-day.
As for the offense, Kansas City steadily added runs throughout the afternoon against Blake Snell, who is one of the finest pitchers in the league. A fielding error due to a rushed throw trying to get Billy Hamilton out plated the Royals’ first run, tying the score 1-1. Following a legendary, inning-ending double play where both Terrance Gore and Hamilton were thrown out on the bases, Whit Merrifield blasted a solo homer to the back of the bleachers in left field for a 2-1 lead.
After that, the offense really took off by scoring eight more runs in the next five innings. Cam Gallagher and Hamilton brought home runs in the fourth. The sixth inning featured Hamilton booming an RBI triple to center field. You could almost feel it coming when Adalberto Mondesi stepped up, and he promptly blasted a three-run homer to blow the contest wide open. It’s been a frustrating couple of weeks for Mondesi, but the raw talent is still on display so frequently.
The Royals added their ninth and 10th runs on a sacrifice fly by Ryan O’Hearn, and an RBI single by Mondesi. 10-2.
Good day for the offense. 10 runs and 14 hits are both season-highs. Everybody reached base. Hamilton had two extra-base hits. Terrance Gore had two moer hits; he’s hitting .438 on the year. Mondesi had three hits and four RBI. They needed this one.
The Royals are 8-17. Their long road trip is over, as is their long losing streak to Tampa Bay. They come home for the weekend, where they will play the Angels at Kauffman Stadium for three games.