Jorge Lopez struggled to throw strikes Saturday but it wasn’t all his fault. Home plate umpire Jerry Layne’s strike zone moved throughout the night. In Layne’s defense, Lopez was nibbling around the edges of the zone.
The offense came alive and put up nine runs on 15 hits. Hunter Dozier had four of those hits. Dozier is just incredible right now. It’s worth a ticket just to watch him. Four Royals had multi-hit games Saturday,
Whit Merrifield singled to right-center with two outs in the third which moved Billy Hamilton from first to third.
Adalberto Mondesi singled to left with two outs in the third to score Hamilton and give the Royals a 7-1 lead. … Mondesi dove in the hole between shortstop and third in the fourth inning to stop a ground ball hit by Andrelton Simmons. He wasn’t able to throw out Simmons but showed very good range just getting to the ball. … He singled to left in the fifth on a fastball up and away. That gave him three hits by the fifth inning.
Hunter Dozier‘s hot hitting continued tonight. He hit a two-run triple in the third down the right field line to give the Royals a 3-1 lead. … He led off the fourth with a single to right. … Dozier tripled to left-center in the fifth to score two more runs and give the Royals a 9-4 lead. This was the first hit of the night that he pulled. The two hits before this went to the opposite field. … A single in the eighth gave Dozier his first career four hit game.
Ryan O’Hearn hit the first pitch he saw for a double down the right field line. He’s starting to get more hits which is nice to see. He has hit the ball so hard early in the season that his stats should be better than they are right now. … He hit a single to right field to score Dozier from third to give the Royals a 4-1 lead in the third.
Jorge Soler had a check-swing double to right. The Angels were shifted to the left side of the infield. Soler checked his swing and it barely got into right field. He hit that double just 105 feet. … Soler hit a hard infield single in the fourth after what should have been a walk. Home plate umpire Jerry Layne called a very low strike on Soler that should have been ball four two pitches earlier.
Kelvin Gutierrez made his major league debut in this game. He started at third base. He walked on four pitches in his first plate appearance. … He got his first major league hit in the third. He hit a fastball to left field and scored two on the play to give the Royals a 6-1 lead.
Martin Maldonado doubled to left on a slider that didn’t break much and stayed in the middle of the plate.
Billy Hamilton left the game in the bottom of the fifth because of hamstring tightness.
Chris Owings entered the game in the bottom of the fifth when Billy Hamilton had to leave because of hamstring tightness.
Jorge Lopez allowed just one run in the first three innings. … Lopez loaded the bases in the fourth with just one out. He struggled to find the strike zone which seemed to be moving around throughout the night.
Scott Barlow relieved Lopez with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth with Mike Trout at the plate and the Royals ahead 7-3. Barlow walked Trout on four pitches on what probably should have been an intentional walk from the beginning. He then struck out Justin Bour to get out of the inning with the Royals ahead 7-4.
Ian Kennedy allowed just one hit and struck out two in a scoreless eighth inning appearance. Kennedy dropped his ERA to 1.32.