The Royals knocked Carlos Carrasco out of the game after just 2/3 of an inning. They put six runs up on Carrasco in his brief outing. The bullpen had to be sweating with the thought of protecting that lead. Losing a six run lead, should they inherit it, would mean a loss could only be because of an epic meltdown.
Alex Gordon, wearing a yellow arm band for a young friend who recently had brain surgery, hit a home run on the first pitch he saw in the game. He followed that up with doubles to left and right fields and finished with four hits on the night.
The bullpen ended up not having the epic meltdown. In fact, Jake Diekman and Ian Kennedy combined for 2.1 scoreless innings in relief. The Royals snapped their ten game losing streak.
Whit Merrifield [3-for-5, 2 R, 2B, SB, .861 OPS]
Whit started what I’m sure he hopes is another long hitting streak with a single down the right field line in the first. In the fourth inning Whit doubled to the right field corner. Whit ended with three hits on the night.
Adalberto Mondesi [1-for-5, R, RBI, 3 K, 3B, .958 OPS]
For some reason Carlos Carrasco threw Mondesi a fastball and he hit it hard for a triple to right center to put the Royals on the scoreboard in the first inning. He also struck out three times on the night.
Alex Gordon [4-for-5, R, 3 RBI, K, 2 2B, HR, 1.223 OPS]
Gordon continued his hot hitting on Friday. In his first at bat in the first inning he hit a first pitch changeup to right for a home run and two runs batted in. He followed that up with a double down the left field line in the second. In the fourth Alex doubled to the right field corner but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple. Gordon finished with four hits.
Hunter Dozier [2-for-4, R, BB, K]
Dozier continued hitting the ball well with two hits in the game.
Chris Owings [2-for-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B, SB]
Owings continued his improvement at the plate. He hit a double down the left field line in the first to score two and increase the Royals lead to 6-0. He had two hits and two runs batted in on the night.
Brad Keller [69 GS, 6.2 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 5 BB, 10 K, 118-64 (54%), 1.20 WHIP]
Keller walked the first batter he faced and then struck out the next three. Although not the ace, Keller will hopefully be the number three or four pitcher in a few years when the Royals are ready to contend for a playoff spot. Keller left a fastball up in the second inning and Tyler Naquin hit a home run. His control wasn’t as good as it often is but he ended with ten strikeouts and just one run allowed.
Jake Diekman [1.1 IP, H, BB, K, 27-16 (59%), 1.50 WHIP]
Diekman entered the game with two outs in the seventh. He got out of the inning on one pitch with a pop up. Diekman pitched a scoreless eighth inning to get the game to Ian Kennedy.
Ian Kennedy [IP, K, 9-5 (56%), 0.00 WHIP]
Kennedy pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to end the game for the Royals’ first win after ten consecutive losses.