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Rookies rake, reap rewards, Royals rule 12-2

Royals rookies hit four home runs, including the first grand slam of the season.

Kyle Isbel celebrates in the dugout during an earlier game Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Rapidly regard these replays of revelry:

That’s right, less than a week off of the first four-home run game of the season, the Royals had another. In case you can’t see the embedded tweet videos, they show home runs from Nick Pratto, Bobby Witt Jr., MJ Melendez, and Kyle Isbel. Every home run was hit by a Royals rookie. Kyle Isbel’s homer doubled as the first Royals’ grand slam of the season.

If only someone had written about how the team has been hitting better thanks to a new organizational hitting philosophy, we might have seen this coming.

Every Royals’ starter had at least one hit. Four players, all rookies, had multiple RBIs. Nate Eaton had his first career four-hit game, including a two-RBI double and a triple. The Royals took the lead in the bottom of the first, gave it up in the second, took it back in the third, and never let Detroit get close again.

Jonathan Heasley, after I suggested he didn’t deserve a roster spot, made easily his best start of the season. He went seven innings and allowed two runs while striking out two, walking two, and giving up eight hits. There’s no arguing with the results, but the lack of swing-and-miss stuff and the number of baserunners suggest that he may not have been as dominant as he first appears. Wyatt Mills came on in relief and finished off the final two innings of the game with a trio of strikeouts and a hit batter.


  • Bobby Witt Jr’s home run put him in the 20-20 club; 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases. It’s a reasonably impressive milestone.
  • Kyle Isbel’s home run looked like a wall scraper in the rightfield corner, but according to the broadcast, it was a home run in 28 of 30 parks.
  • Speaking of Isbel, he has struggled with the bat this year but since the start of August - coinciding with more frequent starts - he’s been hitting above average by FanGraphs’ wRC+ stat and tonight did nothing to change that.
  • Nate Eaton, after playing far more games at third in the minors than the outfield, finally got his first work at third base at the major league level when he took over for Hunter Dozier in the ninth. He caught a popup with no issues.
  • Vinnie Pasquantino started his rehab assignment in AAA tonight, nine days after suffering his injury; it shouldn’t take him long to get back into the lineup.

The Royals will go for the series victory tomorrow afternoon at 12:40 CDT. Max Castillo will make his second start with the Royals after being called up following the waiving of Daniel Mengden. The Tigers will send right-hander Matt Manning to the mound.