Baseball has a weird way of being completely unpredictable and predictable at the same time. So when Salvy stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded in the 6th inning, we all knew how unlikely a grand slam was, while at the same time, knowing just how likely it was.
Lucky for us, baseball was predictable today. Salvador Perez’s 6th inning grand slam proved to be the game-winner, as the Royals overcame a 4-0 deficit to steal a baseball game from Seattle in a 6-4 win.
It was a slow offensive start for both teams, but the Mariners made the most of a rough 1st inning from Royals starter Brad Keller. After a leadoff walk, Kyle Seager appeared to drive in the first run of the game with a double but Keller was bailed out by Michael Taylor’s arm, throwing out Mitch Haniger at the plate for the 2nd out.
But some bad luck and the inability to find the strike zone would seize the day. An infield single and two more walks, including a bases-loaded walk to Jake Fraley, put the Mariners up 1-0 after one inning.
He threw 36 pitches in the 1st, giving up two hits and walking three Mariners. He would load the bases up again in the 4th but managed to escape.
Keller kept grinding after a rough first, but on a night that the Royals bats were quiet, it was enough to sink him. While the Mariners managed five baserunners in the first inning, Kansas City’s offense mustered up just two baserunners through their first five innings against a struggling Yusei Kikuchi. And one of those baserunners was a leadoff hit by pitch from Whit Merrifield.
Through five frames, Hunter Dozier’s 2nd inning single was the offense’s lone hit. That’s when it got a bit uglier.
Kyle Seager hit his 30th homer of the season with one out in the 5th to put the Mariners up 2-0. After the homer, Mike Matheny replaced Keller with Joel Payamps, who promptly gave up a single and then a two-run homer to Fraley, giving the Mariners a 4-0 lead.
It was also later revealed that Keller had left the game due to an injury.
Brad Keller left tonight's game with posterior right shoulder discomfort.— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) August 27, 2021
And just when Kansas City looked dead in the water, they began to rally. They lead off the 6th with back-to-back singles from Ryan O’Hearn and Emmanuel Rivera, the former being driven in on a Whit Merrifield RBI double.
A Nicky Lopez walk then loaded the bases for Salvador Perez. In the 6th inning. Better known as the Sonic Slam Inning in Kansas City. And staying true to fashion, Salvy, a walking cataclysmic event for baseballs everywhere, obliterated a 2-0 fastball to the tune of 418 feet.
A grand slam in the Sonic Slam Inning to put the Royals up 5-4. It was the second consecutive game where a grand slam turned a Royals’ deficit into a Royals lead. For Salvy, it meant drawing ever closer to 40 home runs, a mark reached by a catcher just six times in the entire history of Major League Baseball.
The Mariners responded almost immediately, leading off their half of the 6th with a Cal Raleigh double. After giving up hits to three of the first five batters he faced, including two homers, Payamps was replaced by Richard Lovelady.
But this time, the pitching change worked. After a Luis Torrens single put runners on the corners with nobody out, Lovelady struck out the next two batters and got Seager to ground out to end the inning.
An error in the 7th allowed Emmanuel Rivera to steal second and ultimately score on a Nicky Lopez single to give the Royals a much need insurance run, increasing their lead to 6-4.
Kansas City got two huge scoreless innings from Ervin Santana, with a huge assist from Andrew Benintendi.
Santana teed up Scott Barlow for his 9th save of the season. The thrilling comeback win pushes the Royals record to 57-70 on the season.
Up Next: Royals at Mariners, Friday, August 27, 9:10 PM CDT, T-Mobile Park. LHP Kris Bubic (4-6, 4.94 ERA) v. Logan Gilbert (5-5, 5.16 ERA)