Somebody break up the Royals! Something about September, I guess.
After a 5-4 win on Wednesday night, the Royals won their fourth straight game by beating the Detroit Tigers. For the second night in a row, there was plenty to cheer about at Kauffman Stadium. It was a good night at the ballpark.
The Tigers struck early, putting the Royals in a 3-0 second-inning hole. Jake Junis gave up four straight hits to start the inning, but he got out of the inning with a double play and a groundout. That was a big moment of the game, as Junis was teetering on the edge of completely falling apart. Instead, he managed to pull it together and put forth an excellent start.
Edwin Jackson, who shut down the Royals a few weeks back, pitched three scoreless innings to start his outing. Jackson, who entered with an ERA north of nine, had given up one run in his first 9.1 innings against the Royals this year. Finally, in the fourth inning, Kansas City started to break through. The first three Royals reached, Ryan McBroom hit an RBI single, and Alex Gordon scored on a wild pitch. 3-2.
In the fifth, Jorge Soler demolished a baseball for his 40th home run of the year. He is the first man in Royals history to hit 40 home runs in a single season. This one, which bounced off the base of the Hall of Fame building in left field, traveled 450 feet. Immediately after that, Hunter Dozier tripled, and Alex Gordon singled him home. 4-3, Royals.
Adalberto Mondesi added a two-out RBI single in the sixth. The Tigers got a run back in the eighth when Scott Barlow came within a fingernail’s grasp of blowing the lead all together.
Ian Kennedy, pitching for the fourth time in five days, managed to earn his 26th save by closing out the contest. He was dynamite, in surprising fashion. It was good to see.
Junis started shaky, but he did a wonderful job in the middle innings to shut down the Tigers after flirting with disaster early. He pitched into the eighth inning, totaling 7.0+ frames, seven hits, and four runs. He struck out four and used 92 pitches. He is 9-12 on the year.
The record is 51-89. They’ve won a season-best four games in a row. They need to go 12-10 the rest of the way to avoid a 100-loss season. Considering how this team always manages to flip a switch in September, they have a shot at it.
The Royals go for the sweep tomorrow. It’s an afternoon start, with the pitching matchup being Glenn Sparkman and Matthew Boyd. First pitch is at 12:15 pm.