Daniel Lynch had an...interesting night tonight. In some ways, it seemed like he pitched really well. He didn’t walk a batter in six innings. He also struck out six and the Red Sox never led while he was on the mound. Seven hits in six innings isn’t bad, especially when you didn’t walk any, but ultimately he gave up four runs thanks to some questionable defense and a pair of Red Sox dingers, including the first home run he’s allowed to a lefty in the big leagues when Alex Verdugo took him deep in the sixth.
Still, the lack of walks seems like something he can build on.
Nathan Eovaldi seemed like he could be had, early. MJ Melendez took him deep when he laid one in to start the bottom of the first. In the third inning they strung together three singles from four batters to score two runs when Bobby Witt Jr. hit the third one. Salvador Perez followed that with a single of his own, but Vinnie Pasquantino and Hunter Dozier could not bring home any more runs.
Hot start.#TogetherRoyal pic.twitter.com/xi9xbBnDuh— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) August 6, 2022
Boston tied it in the top of the fourth with Bobby Dalbec’s two-run dinger, but Kyle Isbel launched one into the right field bullpen to give the Royals a lead that would last only until that sixth-inning homer for Verdugo.
Kyle Isbel finds the bullpen for his 3rd blast of the year!#TogetherRoyal pic.twitter.com/OcMK3KPZ3m— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) August 7, 2022
If you’re counting at home, that’s four home runs. The Royals might have hosted Fireworks Friday but there were still plenty of explosives left tonight, including one more.
Taylor Clarke pitched an effective seventh, Scott Barlow made hitters look silly in the eighth, and Dylan Coleman threw five strikes in 10 pitches but got a 1-2-3 ninth. The score, therefore, remained tied. Meanwhile, Boston used only reliever Garrett Whitlock after Nathan Eovaldi exited following the sixth inning. Whitlock had looked pretty dominant most of the night, and hadn’t yet allowed a runner. In the ninth, he got Pasquantino and Dozier out on a single pitch each.
Nick Pratto arrived to the plate. Coming into the game, he was batting under .200. During the game he had grounded into a double play and struck out twice. He worked the count full including a couple of tough foul balls. Whitlock finally made a mistake and hung a breaking pitch which was supposed to be at the bottom of the zone. Nick Pratto didn’t miss.
.@n_pratto's first Kauffman Stadium homer is a walk-off blast!@CapitalOne // #TogetherRoyal pic.twitter.com/GPum1xjn7t— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) August 7, 2022
- Kyle Isbel’s home run was his first since mid-June. He also had an opposite-field hit.
- Pratto’s home run was not only his first major league walk-off bomb but his first in Kauffman stadium.
- Royals rookies did almost all of the damage tonight, going 6-for-19 with all three dingers.
- The game went fewer than three hours and I think it’s likely no coincidence that it featured only two walks: when Barlow walked J.D. Martinez in the eighth and when Pratto walked off the game in the ninth.
The Royals have guaranteed a series split with Boston. They play one more game tomorrow afternoon to see if they can earn a rare four-game series win. Brad Keller will look for redemption for KC, while Kutter Crawford will look to keep the good times rolling; Crawford hasn’t had a bad start since rejoining the rotation on July 4.