Kris Bubic pitched well. The bullpen made pitches when they had to. The offense came through with a couple of quality dongs.
It was a good baseball night in Kansas City on Friday night, as the Royals took down the Tigers, 5-3.
Let’s start with Bubic, who was the brightest part of the evening. With the news of Brady Singer and Danny Duffy heading to IL breaking this week, the Royals are down to the bottom of the barrel when it comes to starting pitching. Kris Bubic was placed back in the rotation following a horrendous string of starts that knocked him out of it in the first place, and the Royals desperately needed some of that April and May Bubic mojo tonight. They got it, as Bubic worked six excellent innings, holding the Tigers to just one run, a solo homer by Willi Castro in the third.
Kansas City gave Bubic all the offense he needed with a pair of homers, but first was Whit Merrifield’s RBI single that tied the game in the third. In the fourth, Ryan O’Hearn cranked a 422-foot bomb to dead center, plating three runs on the Royals’ first three-run homer in what feels like two months. Carlos Santana followed suit with a solo shot in the fifth. Just like that, it was 5-1.
The homers were O’Hearn’s eighth and Santana’s 16th.
Bubic needed 91 pitches to get his 18 outs. He K’d four and gave up six hits. By earning the win, he improved his record to 3-4. Kyle Zimmer started the seventh and farted out a couple of runs, but Scott Barlow came in and got four outs with just 11 pitches. In the ninth, it was Greg Holland who closed the game for seventh save of the year.
Barlow and Holland, in particular, were fabulous. They burned through the last seven batters of the game to the tune of seven outs, two K’s, and just 19 pitches.
I’ve been really hard on Hunter Dozier this year, but he really is starting to turn a corner. His batting average is about to pass over .200, which sounds like a joke but is actually quite impressive considering where he was in early July. I think I may actually believe the “he couldn’t swing because his thumb was really hurt” claim.
The Royals, in all, only had five hits in the game. It was nice to see them win a game where the opponent had more hits, because I feel like the opposite happens to them all the time.
The record is 40-55. They’ve won three straight. Now things get tough as the question marks in the rotation come around, beginning tomorrow with Carlos Hernandez. It’s Alex Gordon Day at Kauffman Stadium. Get there REALLY early to get a bobblehead, because someone screwed up the order and they only have 7,000 ready to go due to a shipping problem. First pitch is at 6:10 pm.