The Royals struggled to capitalize on late game blunders by Cleveland, as Kansas City dropped its second game of the season 10-7 and earned a split of the four-game series.
Following a cataclysmic start from Kris Bubic on Sunday, the Royals handed the ball to Carlos Hernandez to right the ship. However, three batters in and Hernandez loaded the bases with nobody out. Despite a near disaster, Hernandez tight roped out of the inning by allowing just two runs.
Kansas City, who scored just seven runs in its previous three games, finally got on the board in the bottom of the third. After Bobby Witt Jr swiped his first career stolen base, Salvador Perez poked an RBI-single to left to cut the lead in half. Perez had been 0-for-12 coming into the day.
In the top of the fourth, the Guardians responded in a hurry. Oscar Mercado, who homered on Sunday, blasted a two-run shot into the left field bullpen to give Cleveland a 4-1 advantage. That long ball didn’t rattle the Royals’ offense, though.
In the ensuing inning, Kansas City scraped across three runs to tie the game at four. A Nicky Lopez sacrifice bunt turned into a run on a throwing error and an RBI-single by Andrew Benintendi knotted the game back up at four.
Cleveland re-took the lead in the top of the seventh on a pair of bloop singles from Jose Ramirez and Franmil Reyes — giving the Guardians a 6-4 lead. In the home half, the Royals had their best chance to bust the game wide open.
With the bases loaded and nobody out, Hunter Dozier popped up a shallow fly ball to left field. Steven Kwan, who’d been playing at an MVP level (Not an exaggeration), botched the routine play — scoring a run. Fortunately for the Guardians, they picked up an out at second base. At least the umpires say so!
As it always goes in a baseball, a missed opportunity is a punishable offense. Moments later, Adalberto Mondesi came to the plate and smoked a one hopper to second for a 4-6-3 double play.
In the top of the eighth, Steven “Babe Ruth” Kwan cleared the bases on a triple into the right field corner. It was the 15th time he reached base in the series — the most since 1901.
Kansas City’s only hot hitter, Andrew Benintendi, pounded the club’s first home run of the year in the ninth to make it 10-7, but the comeback stalled after.
The Royals, 2-2, head to St. Louis for their first road trip and two-game series against the Cardinals. Daniel Lynch will face Dakota Hudson in Game 1 and Zack Greinke duels with Adam Wainwright in Game 2. First pitch on Tuesday is set for 6:45 p.m. CT.