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Rookie shuts down Royals, 4-0

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Alek Manoah and George Springer very nearly handled the Royals by themselves.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Well. At least it was a quick game.

The story of this game was rookie Alek Manoah. His slider was among the filthiest pitches I had ever seen and he had command of it both inside and outside of the strike zone. The Royals just never really had a chance in this one. Manoah didn’t earn as many strikeouts as would normally be expected from him but the Royals absolutely could not square him up and I don’t think I can blame them. Manoah pitched seven innings and allowed only two hits and one walk while striking out four.

Mike Minor wasn’t able to add to the recent stretch of quality starts as he allowed four runs in his seven innings. Most of the damage was done by Blue Jays’ centerfielder George Springer. Springer hit a lead-off solo shot and followed that up with a two-run bomb in the third inning. The Blue Jays’ final run scored in the sixth inning when Vlad Guerrero Jr.’s infield hit was followed by a Marcus Semien triple. Other than the hits described, he only allowed one other plus a walk. The walk was erased with a double play, so it didn’t feel like an awful start by Minor. It’s just that when the Jays got hits they made them count.

Notes

  • Whit Merrifield extended his hitting streak to 11 games. Unfortunately, he has only 13 hits in those 11 games and before today’s game that amounted to a .659 OPS or a 79 wRC+. Neither of those are good numbers.
  • The only batters to earn hits off of the nasty Alek Manoah were the much-maligned Ryan O’Hearn and Hunter Dozier.
  • Edward Olivares is back with the team and earned a walk during a pinch hit appearance in the eighth inning. Allegedly, he will be sticking with the big league club for a while, now that Jorge Soler is gone.
  • The Royals only had one at-bat all day with a runner in scoring position; Carlos Santana struck out against Adam Cimber to end the eighth.

The Royals can try to avoid a sweep tomorrow. Brad Keller (7-9 5.55 ERA) will try to continue his rebound; he has four straight starts that at least meet the criteria to be called “quality.” As of this writing the Blue Jays had not yet announced their starter. They may be waiting to see if Jose Berríos can be ready to make the start after recently being acquired from the Twins.