Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito took a no-hitter into the seventh inning until Alex Gordon broke it up with a base hit up the middle. Giolito was excellent up to that point. His change up was very effective and caused problems for Royals’ hitters.
Royals fans finally got to see Kyle Zimmer in a big league uniform and he was really good. Zimmer is an exciting piece of the puzzle that fans will be watching all season.
Both sides of the ball let down the Royals today. It was just the first loss of the season for the club who won the series 2-1.
Whit Merrifield [1-for-3, 1BB, 1K]
Whit extended his hitting streak to 23 games with a one out infield single in the seventh. It could have been called an error but Whit got the home field scorer advantage on that ruling.
Merrifield made his first start at second base Sunday. He started the first two games in right field.
Adalberto Mondesi [1-for-4, 1RBI, 1K, 1LOB]
Mondesi hit a hard line drive that bounced right in front of Tim Anderson at shortstop but he could not field it because of the velocity. It wasn’t another extra-base hit but if it had more loft it might have been. It did score Maldonado.
Mondesi continues to hit the ball really hard. It’s only three games and it’s against the White Sox but Mondesi looks great early in the season.
Alex Gordon [1-for-4, 1R, 3LOB]
Gordon broke up Giolito’s no-hitter with one out in the seventh after fouling off several tough pitches to stay alive. Gordon was doubled home by Ryan O’Hearn giving him six runs scored in just three games.
Ryan O’Hearn [1-for-4, 1R, 1RBI, 2K]
O’Hearn finally got the Royals a run in the seventh with a hard hit double down the right field line on an inside fastball that he turned on to score Alex Gordon from first base.
Lucas Duda [1-for-4, 1RBI, 1K]
Duda made his first appearance of the season in this game and played first base. He fought off a lot of pitches inside by Lucas Giolito in his first at bat working the count from 1-2 to 3-2 by fouling off several pitches. Giolito eventually got him to fly out to shallow left field on a fastball up in the strike zone.
Duda turned on an inside fastball in the seventh for a hard hit single to right to score Ryan O’Hearn.
Duda had a decent day at the plate. He only had one hit in four at bats but fought off several tough pitches.
Chris Owings [0-for-4, 2K, 1LOB]
Owings made his season debut at third base. Through the first three games he has started in all three games, two at second base and the third game at third base. Our season preview talked about how we expected Owings to play in most games but we won’t know in each one where he will play until the lineup is released.
Martin Maldonado [1-for-3, 1R]
Maldonado got his first extra base hit of the season with a double down the left field line in the eighth. Anything the Royals get from him on offense is a bonus. He is here for his defense.
Billy Hamilton [0-for-3, 1LOB]
Hamilton hit a hard line drive in the bottom of the sixth but was robbed on a nice play by Yonder Alonso. Hamilton is still swinging the bat well even though he had nothing to show for it today.
Jorge Lopez: [Game Score: 43, 5IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 1BB, 5K, 2HR, 82P, 56S, 1.40WHIP]
Lopez started the game with a lot of movement on his pitches. The White Sox had a lot of trouble making solid contact. The first batter who made solid contact was Tim Anderson who doubled to left center on a change up that was up and over the middle of the plate. It wasn’t a bad pitch selection, just a bad location.
Lopez allowed back-to-back home runs in the fourth to Jose Abreu and Yonder Alonso. Abreu’s home run came on a curve that stayed up in the zone. Alonso then homered on a first pitch slider that didn’t have much movement and was up in the strike zone.
Jorge Lopez controlled the running game well. With Tim Anderson on first base and no outs, Lopez held the ball to the point that it prevented Anderson from attempting a stolen base. Eventually he was able to get James McCann to hit into a 6-4-3 double play.
Location was the biggest issue for Lopez on Sunday. Although he only walked one batter in his five innings, he left several breaking balls up in the zone making things easier on the White Sox batters.
Tim Hill [.2IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 2BB, 0K, 12P, 4S, 3.03WHIP]
Hill entered the game in the sixth with the bases loaded and no outs to face left-handed batter Peter Alonso. Hill got ahead of Alonso 1-2 but eventually walked him bringing home a run. He then walked Eloy Jimenez to force in another run.
Kevin McCarthy [1.1IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 0K, 24P, 13S, 3.01WHIP]
McCarthy got out of the bottom of the sixth on one pitch by inducing a ground ball. He then gave up a double to James McCann to start the seventh on a change up that stayed up. The contact against McCann was mostly hard but he was somewhat fortunate with where the ball was hit. It could have been worse.
Kyle Zimmer [1IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 2K, 20P, 12S, 1.00WHIP]
Zimmer made his major league debut and was really good. He struck out the first and last batters he faced. His fastball sat around 95mph. His curve had good break. His control was ok but surely will get better as he gets more appearances and settles into being a major leaguer. Overall, it was an excellent debut for Zimmer.
Chris Ellis [1IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 0K, 17P, 8S, 2.00WHIP]
Ellis was drafted by the Rangers in the Rule 5 draft this past winter and traded to the Royals. He made his major league debut Sunday. He got Leury Garcia to line out to first on a first pitch curve. Jose Abreu singled to left on a slider that stayed up. Overall, it was a nice debut for Ellis.
Next Game: Tuesday at 7:15pm – Minnesota Twins (Jose Berrios, 1-0) at Kansas City Royals (Brad Keller, 1-0)