Ned Yost had to be ready to make a move in the seventh to replace Brad Keller. He decided to stick with Keller instead of going to Barlow or Diekman who were ready in the bullpen and Keller gave up a long two-run home run to Mike Zunino to give the Rays a 5-3 lead. Keller then gave up a triple to Willy Adames before Yost finally made a move. The Rays eventually added another run and the Royals lost 6-3.
Mondesi fielded a ground ball up the middle in the third inning and once again showed how well he throws on the run. It was a perfect throw to first. I have pointed out several instances this year where his throwing accuracy on the run tends to be more consistently good than when he gets a routine ground ball. At some point I might stop pointing this out but obviously not yet. It’s quite impressive.
Gordon continues to hit the ball well. He got a 3-2 two-out two-seam fastball that started inside but moved back over the plate and crushed it for a long home run to right field in the first inning. I don’t remember a time in his career when he has hit the ball this well for this long. He looks terrific at the plate right now.
Dozier hit another home run this time to left field in the sixth inning. It was a two-seam fastball that started over the middle of the plate and moved inside on him. Lucas Duda pinch hit for Dozier in the eighth because of back spasms. I would expect Dozier to miss some time because of this.
Soler was dropped to seventh in the lineup in this game. That’s a good move. He needs to continue getting at bats but seventh is a better spot for him right now because of his struggles at the plate, particularly with him still wanting to swing at pitches, usually off-speed pitches, down and out of the strike zone. Soler did hit a home run in the fifth.
Keller did not have one of his best starts but he was very effective through six innings. In the seventh he started leaving pitches up in the zone and the Rays made him pay taking a 5-3 lead over the Royals.