Offense has been hard to come by for the slumping Royals. Heading into Friday night with an 18-inning scoreless drought, Kansas City would not be given mercy in facing Noah Syndergaard. Posting a sub-two ERA since the All-Star break, the pitcher known as “Thor” would be the first of three elite arms the Royals would face in this weekend series. Behind a second consecutive strong outing from Mike Montgomery, Kansas City ended its scoring drought and stifled the Mets’ offense to win 4-1.
Through the first two innings, it was New York failing to capitalize on some early scoring opportunities. With a runner at second and nobody out in the top half of the first, the Mets’ failed to cash in. In the ensuing inning, the Royals notched a double play on a pop up after Joe Panik forgot how many outs there were. While Kansas City dodged bullets in the early going, Syndergaard mowed through the Royals’ lineup effortlessly.
In the top of the third, one offense managed to break through. Following a receiving error by Whit Merrifield that was overturned on replay, the Mets’ had runners at first and second with one out instead of two outs and one on. Shorty after the replay, Michael Conforto roped an RBI-single to left center field to tally the first run from either side. Put down as an unearned run, Montgomery escaped the jam without any further damage. The score remained locked at 1-0 until the bottom of the fifth.
Sending the bottom of the order to the plate to stunt Syndergaard’s rhythm, Kansas City finally snapped its 22-inning scoreless streak. With one out, Ryan O’Hearn smacked a single to right field. On the next at-bat, 22-year-old Meibrys Viloria roped a 0-2 fastball down the line to score O’Hearn on a bang-bang play at the plate. Continuing the trend, Nicky Lopez touched the left field line with a double of his own. Taking the lead for the first time since Sunday, the Royals attempted to protect their slim lead.
Handing the ball to Jake Newberry for the seventh, Montgomery’s night was effectively ended at six innings with just one unearned run. Firing a perfect frame with two strikeouts, Newberry managed to work his six scoreless outing and drop his ERA to 2.96 on the season. Scott Barlow and Tim Hill tag teamed the eighth, allowing the Royals to add some insurance in the home half. And boy, did they ever.
Loading the bases with nobody out, New York called on its struggling closer in Edwin Diaz to avoid a catastrophe. However, things begun spiraling. Losing a battle to Brett Phillips, Diaz walked home a run. Bubba Starling avoided the golden sombrero and singled in the fourth run of the evening. Nearly blowing the doors off, a grand slam by O’Hearn was overturned as it was ruled foul. Instead of a blowout, Ian Kennedy came on for the save.
Able to emerge unscathed in a bases loaded jam in the ninth, Kansas City claimed game one from a surging New York team. Hoping to go for a series win tomorrow, the Royals’ will face one of the top arms in baseball, Jacob deGrom. Jakob Junis will toe the slab for the Boys in Blue. First pitch is slated for 6:15 CT.