The Royals won, 6-4. They put together an early comeback and capped it with a late rally. It was an entertaining baseball game.
At this point, though, wins and losses don’t really matter. The only thing Royals fans really care about is Salvador Perez’ quest to break the club’s home run record. He got one step closer on Tuesday night, destroying a solo home run in the sixth inning for his 47th homer of the year. It put the Royals up 4-3, and it went all the way to the base of the Royals Hall of Fame in left field. He is ridiculous.
Perez’ home run chase can be summed up in simple terms: he needs one to tie Jorge Soler’s record, two to break Jorge Soler’s record, and three to reach the 50-HR mark. He has five games left.
The rest of the scoring: Cleveland took a 3-0 first-inning lead when they bottled up Brady Singer, who then left with right arm soreness. It was actually Whit Merrifield that noticed something was up after Singer threw a pitch. Merrifield started waving to the dugout for attention, and shortly after Nick Kenny and Mike Matheny made it to the mound, Singer walked off the field.
Down 3-0, the Royals fought back with Andrew Benintendi’s 17th homer of the year, continuing his red-hot September. He’s suddenly up to a near-3.0 WAR. Carlos Santana tied things in the fourth with a sac fly, and Perez’ titanic took the lead in the sixth. Cleveland would tie it on an RBI double in the eighth.
In the home half of the eighth, Whit Merrifield and Nicky Lopez, who have just been tremendous all season, put together another rally to ultimately win the game. Merrifield hit a single, moving him into fourth place in baseball with 178 hits on the year. Nicky Lopez then smashed an opposite-field triple to the wall, plating Merrifield and giving the Royals a 5-4 lead. He trotted home on a wild pitch for a sixth run.
The Royals’ bullpen did a really good job in relief of Singer, considering they had to get to work just two outs into the night. Ervin Santana got three scoreless frames. Dylan Coleman, Gabe Speier, and Domingo Tapia all put up zeroes. Jake Brentz entered and gave up a run that blew the lead, which is pretty par for his second half. Josh Staumont got the final out of the eighth to earn the win. He got the last four outs of the game.
In all, the bullpen: 8.1 innings, six hits, one run, five strikeouts. They were fabulous.
They’re now down 4-13 in the season series with Cleveland, which feels weird. They can make that a little better with a couple more wins this week.
Tomorrow: game two of the series. Daniel Lynch makes his final start of the year.