It was a good Sunday for the Royals, who had lost 11 of 15 entering the afternoon, as they put on a show for a decent crowd at Kauffman Stadium. The result was a 15-7 win over the San Diego Padres, salvaging the series by avoiding a three-game sweep.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first, the Royals, much as they did last night, were cooking early with the bats. 10 men batted in the first inning against former Royal Sean Manaea, with seven reaching, and two of the three outs were scorched in addition. Here is what a seven-hit, five-run first inning looks like: Taylor leadoff homer (1-1), Witt Jr. fly out, Perez single, Dozier single, Rooker RBI single (2-1), Pratto RBI fielder’s choice (3-1), Waters double (4-1), Lopez single (5-1), Rivero single, Taylor lineout.
Manny Machado was most of the offense for San Diego, he homered twice and drove in four total. The Padres got within two runs at 6-4 in the fifth inning, but the Royals put more runs up against the San Diego bullpen. Michael A. Taylor hit an RBI single in the fourth. Salvador Perez his a two-run bomb, his 18th, in the sixth. And in the eighth, the Royals took full advantage of Josh Hader throwing up on himself once again, as the first five men reached and Nick Pratto (two RBI double), Drew Waters (RBI single), Michael A. Taylor (two RBI single), and Bobby Witt Jr. (sac fly) all drove in runs. In all, the Royals tagged Hader for six runs. His ERA is over 6.50. Yikes!
Wil Myers got the final two outs for the Padres on the mound. He got Bobby Witt Jr. out in what I’m betting is the first time two Royals Minor League Player of the Year winners faced each other in the big leagues. The trade has come full circle.
Just about everyone in the lineup for the Royals played well. It was a season-best 15 runs for Kansas City, which featured 18 hits and 25 total baserunners. Salvador Perez had three hits. Hunter Dozier had four. Michael A. Taylor had three hits, and two of his three outs were rockets. Waters had his first career extra-base hit with his first inning double. Lopez and Rivero both had two hits. Nick Pratto’s eighth-inning double gave him seven RBI for the three-game series. The only starter that didn’t record base hits was Bobby Witt Jr.
The only complaint I have is that Michael Massey and Kyle Isbel didn’t start. They need to be playing every day. I’m not under the belief that Brent Rooker is in the long-term plans, so I don’t need to see him bat in the middle of the lineup. It was good to see Dozier and Perez have successful weekends at the plate.
The pitching was good enough, as Jonathan Heasley made it through five runs and gave up just four hits. All three runs that were tagged against him came courtesy of Manny Machado. He also did not throw up on the baseball field today. Good work! He struck out seven and earned his second win of the year.
Jose Cuas, Amir Garrett, Dylan Coleman, Brad Keller, and Scott Barlow all pitched well in relief for the Royals. The only exception was Anthony Misiewicz, who was tagged for the only two runs charged against the Royals bullpen. Luke Weaver gave up a run in the ninth, but he might be the worst pitcher the Royals have had since Brandon Maurer, so I’m not sure if it counts.
The record is 52-77. They’re still narrowly out of last place, but with six games in the next two weeks coming up against the Tigers, the battle is about to go down!
Up next: an off-day tomorrow, followed by a six-game road trip to Chicago and Detroit. Get ready for lots of division games.