It’s hard to imagine anything that could have made Daniel Lynch’s first stint in Kansas City worst than it was. In just eight innings of work, he gave up 14 runs, including a brutal eight runs in 0.2 innings in his 2nd career start.
He was called back up to mend a depleted starting rotation and he has responded to the opportunity in a big way, continuing tonight with a strong start that helped the Royals take the series against the White Sox in a 3-2 win.
Lynch absolutely shoved in his first start back, going eight scoreless innings before grinding through his last start, giving Kansas City six strong innings after giving up three early runs. The Royals gave him a quick lead with an Emmanuel Rivera two-out, two-RBI double on a bizarre line drive that put White Sox centerfielder Adam Engel in the spin cycle. Jose Abreu responded with a solo homer in the bottom half of the first to cut the lead to 2-1.
Both team’s bats went cold after that, with the Royals offense struggling to get going again against White Sox starter Dallas Keuchel. After scoring two in the first, Kansas City managed just one baserunner between the 2nd and 6th innings before Edward Olivares broke the streak with his 2nd homer in as many days. It was Olivares’ 4th of the season, giving the Royals a 3-1 lead.
Before the homer, Kansas City got out of two huge jams, the first of which came in the 4th inning. With two outs and a man on first, Lynch walked Andrew Vaughn and hit Yoan Moncada with a pitch to load the bases before getting Adam Engel to strike out swinging to end the inning.
It was his 6th strikeout of the evening, and he would add another in the 5th to give him seven on the night. Despite his two strong starts since being recalled, he had only struck out four batters in those 14 innings. The seven strikeouts were a career-high.
He got himself into trouble again in the 6th, giving up a leadoff single to Jose Abreu before walking Eloy Jimenez, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Mike Matheny then went to Josh Staumont to put out the fire, and unlike Wednesday’s game, Staumont and the bullpen was able to get the job done, with a few bumps.
Staumont immediately got Vaughn to ground into a double play and then stranded the tying run on third by getting Moncada to ground out. Greg Holland gave the Royals a clean 7th, but Scott Barlow struggled, giving up an RBI double to Jimenez to bring the White Sox to within one. He got Vaughn to ground out to end the inning, keeping the Royals out ahead.
Jake Brentz gave Kansas City a clean 9th, which included some 100 MPH sinkers and gross sliders to give the Royals the win and the series. The win brings the Royals record to 47-60 and gave them their 4th series win in six tries since the All-Star break.
Up Next: Royals at Cardinals, Friday, August 6, 7:15 PM CDT, Busch Stadium. LHP Mike Minor (8-9, 5.31 ERA) v. Adam Wainwright (9-6, 3.53 ERA)