Welp, for all of the optimistic folk out there that thought “the Royals are going to turn it around after the break because they start with the Orioles” I’m sorry that you got your hopes up because these last two days did anything but bring positivity and optimism to the Royals faithful.
Old friend (in more than one way) Matt Harvey got the start for Baltimore and dominated the Royals all day by efficiently attacking the zone and using the breeze blowing into the hitters face to get lots of flyouts.
Through Harvey’s six innings of work (tied for his season long outing), he only faced adversity in the fourth inning. With one out, Harvey hit Salvador Perez then walked Carlos Santana back-to-back. After an O’Hearn fly out, Dozier loaded the bases with an infield single. Unfortunately, the scoring threat ended with a Michael A. Taylor ground out.
Harvey exited the game with 6 innings, 0 ER, 3 H, 2 K.
On Saturday when Mike Matheny announced that Carlos Hernandez would get the rubber game start, it raised some eyebrows but through his four inning outing, Hernandez did not look horrible.
The flame-throwers’ first start of the year began well with a 1-2-3 inning which included many pitches at triple digits on the radar gun.
In the second, Hernandez gave up a hit, then hit a batter with just one out. But then Ryan McKenna struck out swinging and Kelvin Gutierrez ended the inning with a pop out to Nicky Lopez.
The third inning however, Hernandez did not escape unscathed. Hernandez led off the inning by walking Austin Wynns. With one out, Austin Hays singled, moving Wynns to second. After getting Trey Mancini to fly out. Hernandez loaded the bases with a walk to DJ Stewart. Ramon Urias made the walks hurt with a two-out, two-run single to give Baltimore an early lead.
Carlos Hernandez ended his first start with a line of 4 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 2 K.
The rest of the game for the Royals bullpen was an inning for each reliever; which didn’t work out well.
Kyle Zimmer was up first and allowed one run on two hits. Hays had a one-out double and Mancini scored him on a single to center.
Next up was Josh Staumont who also allowed one run on two hits. Again a single and a double led to the one run; this time Wynns scored McKenna.
In the 7th, Jake Brentz walked one but struck out two allowing no runs.
Greg Holland was the next man called by Matheny. And to continue the trend, allowed one run on one hit. Domingo Leyba led off with a double down the right field line. A sacrifice bunt by Ryan McKenna turned into another baserunner when Greg Holland bobbled the ball trying to get the lead runner at third. With runners on first and third, Gutierrez grounded to Dozier and very coincidentally could not make the play. That scored one Leyba. Holland did work out of the jam minimizing the damage.
Wade Davis finished off the bullpen day with a scoreless 9th.
After a bumpy start in the bottom of the seventh and ninth (both started by a Hunter Dozier double), the Orioles bullpen held off the Royals completing the shut out.
Royals fans did get something to cheer for, two fantastic plays by Michael A. Taylor and Andrew Benintendi.
The #Royals' outfielders are covering some ground today. This time, Michael A. Taylor makes the diving catch.— Bally Sports Kansas City (@BallySportsKC) July 18, 2021
TV: Bally Sports Kansas City
App: Bally Sports app#TogetherRoyal pic.twitter.com/IxEBIvWnhs
OH MY. Benintendi makes a spectacular diving catch in left!— Bally Sports Kansas City (@BallySportsKC) July 18, 2021
TV: Bally Sports Kansas City
App: Bally Sports app#TogetherRoyal pic.twitter.com/3Tvz21ZpWR