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Bobby Witt Jr leads offensive onslaught to defeat Twins 10-7

Everyone got a hit!

Bobby Witt Jr heads to the dugout after hitting a home run.
Gladiators tonight.
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Folks, Bobby Witt Jr is smashing the ball. Just absolutely ripping hits left and right. He was just a double short of the cycle. But tonight, the rest of the team joined in the onslaught of offense. Kyle Isbel had his first four-hit game, every starter had at least one hit, and the Royals had a season-high 18 hits. All that offense was able to overcome the usual pitching problems to win 10-7.

Hitting second, BWJ worked a full count and turned on an inside slider to blast another home run (#18 for Jr) and open up the scoring early, 1-0. This was after some eyebrow music as Jake Eisenberg called it...Bailey Ober’s control wasn’t quite there.

In the top of the 2nd, we actually got to see some sort of defense. And from MJ Melendez, no less! After a double (lucky it was JUST a double - the pitch was grooved) and sac fly, Max Kepler found himself at third base. Somebody named Matt Wallner hit a lazy, shallow-ish fly ball to left field; Kepler decided to test Melendez’s arm. MJ was there and fired a rocket (on target!) to Salvy at home plate, and Perez laid down the tag. Kepler had a pretty solid slide around Perez, but he was called out. A replay review confirmed the out and ruled no violation of the collision rule.

The Royals kept going in the bottom of the 2nd. Ober left a meatball over the middle of the plate for Michael Massey, who cleared the right field bullpen on a majestic dinger (#8 for Massey). But the Royals weren’t done. Kyle Isbel bunted and made it to first easily as Jorge Polanco couldn’t handle the play. Drew Waters was hit by a pitch, and then Matt Duffy lofted a can of corn in no-man’s land in shallow right-center. Bases loaded for Maikel Garcia, who hit a deep sac fly to right field, well deep enough to score Isbel to make it 3-0. Bobby Witt Jr added another run with a ground ball base hit up the middle to score Waters. With runners at the corners, MJ Melendez struck out, but three more runs were plated to make it 4-0 in the second.

The Royals were really feeling it at the plate. In the bottom of the third, the Royals kept pounding. Salvador Perez lined a shot just fair down the left field line for a single. Edward Olivares followed that up with a double down the same line, and Perez made it all the way from first to third! The wheels. With the infield in, Kyle Isbel dribbled a grounder past the infield to score both Perez and Olivares to make it 6-0. Waters singled to right field, and both Isbel and Waters advanced on a weak grounder by Duffy. Garcia couldn’t bring them in, though, and the inning ended 6-0.

It was only a matter of time, though. The Twins finally got to Lyles in the fourth. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Jorge Polanco, who dribbled a soft grounder to Maikel Garcia. With no chance at the plate, Garcia took the only out he could at first base. Eduoard Julien scored to make it 6-1. Byron Buxton turned on an up-and-in fastball for a double to left field, which brought in another two runs to make it 6-3. Lyles was able to get out of the inning with a groundout and a strikeout (on a questionable called third strike).

In the fourth, the Royals finally managed not to score any runs, and that was it for Twins starter Bailey Ober. His line was 4.0 IP, 11 hits, 6 runs, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts, and 2 home runs given up. A quick scan of Ober’s history says this is the most runs he’s given up in his MLB career, which now spans 247 innings across parts of three seasons.

Similarly, Jordan Lyles was done after just five innings, as he ran his pitch count up to 100. His final line was 5 IP, 4 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, and 0 home runs. In the sixth, Quatraro tabbed Jose Cuas, who promptly gave up a home run to Max Kepler to make it 6-4. Against Buxton, Cuas left a meatball down the middle for Buxton to punish into the left field gap for a double. A walk put men on first and second with one out for Christian Vazquez, who hit a comebacker right in between Cuas’ legs and right under a diving Massey’s glove into center field. 6-5. Dylan Coleman came in and hit Willi Castro to load the bases with one out for Carlos Correa. The game had a chance to get really out of hand...but Michael Massey showed up on defense. He snagged a tough grounder to his left, turned, and fired to Bobby at second, and Bobby threw to first to complete the double play.

The Royals responded in the sixth. Bobby Witt Jr flared a little guy to right field for his third hit of the ninth and advanced to second on a bounced pitch. Melendez hit a deep fly ball to right center field to advance BWJ to third. He scored on a little flare to right field by Perez to make it 7-5.

Carlos Hernandez struck out the side in the seventh. That was nice. And you know what else was nice? The Royals kept it going in the bottom of the seventh. After Isbel singled, Drew Waters hit a slicing line drive into the gap in right center. Isbel was running on the pitch so he scored to make it 8-5, and Waters ended up with a triple. With the infield in, again, Maikel Garcia poked an opposite field grounder into the outfield to score Waters and make it 9-5. With that hit from Garcia, every Royals starter in the lineup had at least one hit. And that brought up Bobby Witt Jr, who missed another dinger by about a foot and a half. Garcia scored on Witt’s triple to make it 10-5.

Unfortunately, Carlos Hernandez did not come back out to pitch the eighth. Taylor Clarke immediately gave up a single and a double to put men on second and third with no outs. After a strikeout, a groundout, and a single those two guys scored to make it 10-7, but the defense came up big again. On a single to left field, Willi Castro tried to go first-to-third, but defensive sub Dairon Blanco fired a strike to get Castro out and end the inning.

After blowing the game last night, Scott Barlow came in once again to try for the save. The first hitter lined a shot to right field, which hit Waters’ glove but did not stay inside the glove. Unfortunately, the ball has to stay IN the glove for a catch. That put a man on first with no outs, but Barlow responded by getting the next three outs to seal the win.

The Royals will try for the sweep tomorrow afternoon at 1:10pm US Central time. Ryan Yarbrough will face Kenta Maeda.