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Julio Rodriguez single handedly wins a baseball game, beats Royals 6-4

On the bright side, what a battle between Bobby and J-Rod

Seattle Mariners v Kansas City Royals Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

As noted in today’s game thread, this series has been crazy. Staying true to brand, it ended with another wild one. The final score might not look it, but today’s game featured:

  • Three errors
  • A slowpitch softball-style double that sailed over MJ Melendez’s head and could have been easily been an error
  • Three outfield assists in the span of five outs, including on the aforementioned slowpitch-style double play
  • A pickoff, caught stealing, and four double plays
  • A 7-3 out, via Melendez. It was a busy day for Melendez.

Sadly, it also featured Julio Rodriguez. Inning by inning, Rodriguez collected infinity stones, slowly increasing his power with each hit until finally snapping his fingers and launching a go-ahead three-run dagger into the left field seats in the 8th, ending all hope for Kansas City. The craziest series of the season ended with more craziness, and for the third time in four tries, the Royals ended on the wrong side of it, falling 6-4 to the Mariners.

The Royals fail to secure their 40th win of the season, falling to 39-84, while Seattle improves to 66-55.

Seattle jumped out to an early lead when Julio Rodriguez’s aquired his first stone, this one a two-out RBI single in the 2nd, giving the Mariners an early 1-0 lead. It was the only run surrendered by Zerpa in his 4.0 innings of work, but he labored through those innings.

The bad news is Zerpa needed 84 pitches to get 12 outs, giving up five hits and two walks along the way. The good news is that half those outs were strikeouts.

On the other side of the diamond, the Kansas City offense stumbled a bit early against George Kirby. They managed just three baserunners through the first four innings. One on Bobby Witt Jr’s double in the 1st, another on yet another MJ Melendez hit, and luckily for them, the final baserunner coming courtesy a solo shot from Nelson Velazquez to tie the game up at 1-1.

Velazquez has been a nice little find for Kansas City so far, as he has homered in four of his six games with the Royals.

Zerpa was replaced in the 5th by Max Castillo, who struggled early and often with shaky command. He escaped a double and hit batsman in the 5th but wasn’t so lucky in the 6th as the Julio Rodriguez destruction tour continued. Rodriguez opened the game with hits in each of his first three at-bats before coming to the plate in the 6th with runners on the corners.

He proceeded to lace a double over the head Melendez, continuing his struggles in left field with a bad misread, driving in the go-ahead run. A strong relay from Witt Jr prevented a second run from scoring to keep it a 2-1 game.

That out proved to be valuable, as MJ would have his revenge immediately. Maikel Garcia opened the 6th against a cruising Kirby by reaching on an error by Mariners shortstop Jose Caballero. He was thrown out at the plate attempting to score on Witt Jr’s 2nd double of the game, a decision that would ultimately cost Kansas City at least a run, as Michael Massey immediately singled in Bobby.

Velazquez stayed hot with a single, putting runners on the corners for MJ who doubled in Massey to put the Royals up 3-2. Freddy Fermin drove in Velazquez on a sac fly that also ended in MJ being thrown out at 3rd base.

For those counting, three of the six outs recorded by the Royals and Mariners in the top of the 5th and the bottom of the 6th were via outfield assists. This series has been a wild one. And for all of Melendez’s woes in left field, he is piping hot right now. He entered today’s contest with a 176 wRC+ in August before adding two more hits today. And one of his outs was a line out.

As for Kirby, what began as an excellent outing turned into a loss. Through 5.0 innings, Kansas City had recorded just four hits and a single run. In the 6th, they notched four consecutive hits, including two doubles. He ended his afternoon with four earned runs on his ledgers on eight hits, striking out just two Royals.

Oh yeah, and then this happened in the 7th.

Jackson Kowar gave the Royals solid work through the 7th, striking out three of the six batters he faced, but needed 35 pitches to do so. Unfortunately for Kansas City, the Julio Rodriguez Train of Cataclysmic Destruction continued rolling through town. And this time he had his final stone, ready to put the final nail in the coffin. Taylor Hearn gave up a one-out double and walk before being replaced by Carlos Hernandez.

Rodriguez entered the at-bat 4-4 and welcomed Hernandez into the game by blasting a titanic three-run go-ahead home run into left field on the first pitch he saw, putting Seattle up 5-4.

Rodriguez finished the afternoon with five hits, five RBI, and 20 points added to his OPS. Cal Raleigh added a solo shot to ensure there was no coming back from Julio’s snap, and the Royals went quietly in the 9th. He also became just the 2nd player in AL/NL history to have 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in each of his first two seasons.

Do you know what guy did it first?

For real though, what did we just watch?

Up Next: Royals at Cubs, Friday, August 18, 1:20 PM CDT, Wrigley Field. LHP Cole Ragans (3-4, 4.21 ERA) v. RHP Jameson Taillon (7-7, 5.71 ERA)