Jonathan Heasley was fantastic in Friday against Baltimore in an 8-1 rout, giving the Royals their second three-game winning streak of the year. The rookie right-hander allowed just one hit over seven shutout innings with no walks and seven strikeouts. By Bill James’ Game Score metric, Heasley’s score of 82 was the best by a Royals starter since September 10, 2020, when Brady Singer took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against Cleveland.
Jonathan Heasley joins Rich Gale (1978) and Brady Singer (2020) as only 3 pitchers in #Royals history to record 7 shutout innings on 1 hit within his first 9 MLB outings.— Dave Holtzman (@DHoltzy) June 11, 2022
The Royals jumped on Orioles starter Bruce Zimmermann in the first inning when Whit Merrifield and Andrew Benintendi hit back-to-back doubles to make it 1-0 Royals. Salvador Perez - who apparently loves to hit with a sore thumb - hit his team-leading ninth home run of the year to make it 3-0.
In the third, Bobby Witt Jr. showed what speed do with his fourth triple of the year - tying for the American League lead. Salvy and his sore thumb knocked him home with a double off the wall to make it 4-0 Royals.
The boys in blue made it a laugher in the fifth. In the top of the inning, rookie MJ Melendez showed he is adjusting to right field well by making a terrific diving catch. But he outshone himself in the bottom of the inning with a beautiful three-run blast, his sixth home run of the year. Michael A. Taylor would add a solo home run in the sixth, his third of the year.
Meanwhile, Heasley was on cruise control all game. He got ten swing-and-misses, including four on change ups. He threw 64 of his 93 pitches for strikes and only reached a three-ball count three times all night.
The Royals have exploded for 23 runs over their three-game win streak, They have scored 7+ runs in three consecutive games for the first time since September 21-24, 2019. They have scored 7+ runs and won in three consecutive games for the first time since July 20-22, 2017.
Kansas City continues their series against Baltimore tomorrow at 3:10 when Daniel Lynch takes on Tyler Wells.