In a day where Brady Singer struggled, the Royals ended up winning anyway thanks to a four-run eighth inning, sharp pitching by Jackson Kowar and James McArthur, and Nelson Velazquez’s 14th home run on the year. Kansas City ended up on top of Cleveland 6-4.
Let’s hone in on that eighth inning, which is an inning the Guardians likely want to forget. Kyle Isbel walked to lead off the inning. Maikel Garcia then popped out to second base, and Bobby Witt Jr. lined out to Myles Straw. So, you know, two outs.
Then the fun began. MJ Melendez walked. Nelson Velazquez was hit by a pitch. And then, against Trevor Stephan, Michael Massey walked with the bases loaded.
But that was only one run out of four; it got worse for Cleveland. Drew Waters doubled to left field, giving the Royals their first lead of the day.
And then, with Nick Pratto at the plate, the Guardians bullpen continued to cosplay as the Royals and wild pitch’d Massey for the fourth and final run of the frame. Pratto then struck out.
As I mentioned earlier, Singer was not sharp. He gave up 10 baserunners in his six innings of work, only managing to strike four out. He gave up a home run to Gabriel Arias. It just wasn’t a good showing, continuing a trend of not good showings.
Thankfully, the bullpen was solid! This does not usually happen, but so it went. Somebody by the name of Tucker Davidson (who has pitched in 16 games this year for KC somehow) worked around two walks to pitch a scoreless seventh. Jackson Kowar, who has looked really good over his past eight outings, struck out two in a scoreless eighth. James McArthur then shut the door with his first career save.
Oh, and Nelson Velazquez continues to do Barry Bond things. Velazquez has hit a home run in 9.9% of all plate appearances this year and now has an isolated slugging percentage of .370.
Overall, the Royals avoid loss 103 for another day. With 11 games left, they must go 8-3 to avoid matching the franchise record for losses. Can they do it??? It’s at least one game closer.