Would you look at that? For the first time since June 4-6, the Kansas City Royals came away with a series win. They accomplished this feat after defeating the Boston Red Sox 7-3 in an exciting and rather enjoyable game in which they were firing on all cylinders—well, most of them, anyway.
Royals starter Mike Minor made a pretty big mistake against Kike Hernandez in the second inning: with two outs, two strikes, and no balls, Minor tossed a lazy changeup middle-in, which Hernandez promptly sent soaring for a two-run home run to give the Red Sox the lead. Fortunately for Minor, though, that was the only major mistake he made. Over 6.2 innings, Minor induced eight groundouts and one popup, which, combined with his six strikeouts against one walk, managed to limit the Red Sox despite their nine total hits.
To the Royals’ credit, they kept fighting after surrendering yet another early lead. They scored their first run in the second inning, when Adalberto Mondesi hit one of his two doubles and Hunter Dozier notched his second hit to right field—no, not today; second on the season. In the third inning, they scored thrice more thanks to a Whit Merrifield leadoff single, a Salvador Perez single, Mondesi’s second double, and a truly fantastic 10-pitch plate appearance from Jarrod Dyson that resulted in an opposite-field line drive double. It was 4-2 Royals.
Recap Intermission: Physical Comedy Performance by Kelvin Gutierrez
It was not Kelvin Gutierrez’s best day.
Anybody who’s watched a Royals game this year knows that a 4-2 lead is not always enough for a team with as many flaws as this year’s Royals squad has. Fortunately for our collective peace of mind, the Royals added to it in the sixth inning. Kansas City added another trio of runs, capped off by this wonderful Merrifield shot to right field, one of his two hits on the day.
For a while, Merrifield had been cold, cold, cold at the plate. But lately, he’s been his usual self. Merrifield is currently on a seven-game hit streak where he has notched 13 hits and added 19 points to his batting average. A singles train—two of which were infield hits—scored Carlos Santana for the seventh, and final, Royals run of the day.
The rest of the game wasn’t totally devoid of some drama. With a five-run lead, Mike Matheny thought to save some of his bullpen by sneaking an inning to Carlos Hernandez. At some point, the Royals will realize that Hernandez stinks and will probably never be good. That day was not today, and Hernandez promptly coughed up a home run to Rafael Devers, a single to Hunter Renfroe, and a walk to Enrique Hernandez before getting yanked from the game. Kyle Zimmer bailed Hernandez out without further damage.
Greg Holland slammed the door shut with a perfect ninth inning and that was that. The Royals stand at 32-38. Tomorrow will be an off day, and then the Royals kick off a 10-game road trip against the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, and Boston Red Sox. Twenty games remain until the All-Star break.