The Royals played pretty well and just lost this one. Sure, two runs are not enough to win most games but the Royals ran into an opposing pitcher who is pitching well right now. Brad Keller is struggling with his control but kept the team in the game. The bullpen pitched really well. Even Ian Kennedy who allowed three runs in the tenth inning and got the loss pitched pretty well. How can I say that Kennedy pitched well? He got a couple of ground balls that Kelvin Gutierrez probably makes more times than not but just didn’t make today and those extended the inning. Maybe the home run would have happened in the 11th inning and the outcome would have been the same. It’s hard to say. I feel comfortable saying that this was just a loss. There’s really nobody to blame for the loss. You can’t win them all. Both teams played well and the Tigers won the game.
Whit Merrifield should be the second baseman without question right now. He made a nice diving stop on a ground ball up the middle and flipped it to Mondesi to force out a runner at second. When Nicky Lopez is promoted to Kansas City that will change.
Adalberto Mondesi hit a four-seam fastball down and in into the right field corner for a double in the first inning.
Hunter Dozier hit a breaking ball out down the right field line to tie the game at 1-1 in the top of the eighth.
Jorge Soler led off the second with a double to left center. He hit a down and away breaking ball which has been really tough on him. The pitch was in the strike zone unlike so many he has swung at this season.
Ryan O’Hearn got his batting average over .200 with a three hit game. Just as I thought, he has hit the ball so well this year that eventually the hits had to start falling. They have been falling lately.
Kelvin Gutierrez continues to impress. He came to the majors swinging and had another hit today. … Gutierrez struggled defensively in the tenth. He couldn’t find the ball in his glove on a slow roller. Then he tried to bare hand a ground ball be wasn’t able to grab it. He had time to use his glove but he, like many, thought he had to make the play with his throwing hand. Gutierrez has played well defensively but today was just bad timing for two plays that he probably makes more often than not.
Terrance Gore pinch ran for Cam Gallagher in the ninth. He slipped starting his steal of second but still stole the base.
Brad Keller continued struggling with control in this game. He did get out of a first and third and no outs situation in the third without allowing a run in. He’s throwing fastballs just above the strike zone to get swings and misses these days. This is different than his approach last year. It’s debatable whether he’s doing this on purpose or just really struggling with his control but it appears that this is intentional. Keller went 5.1 innings and ended with a walk. He had five walks on the day. It wasn’t a great start but he kept the Royals in the game.
Scott Barlow entered the game with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth and the Royals trailing 2-1. He threw three straight sliders to strikeout Jacoby Jones swinging and then struck out Jeimer Candelario swinging on a slider in the dirt.
Jake Diekman pitched the eighth and retired all three batters he faced.
Brad Boxberger pitched a perfect ninth. He has been very good in his last few appearances.
Ian Kennedy pitched the tenth. He allowed two runners, both on plays that could have been made by Kelvin Gutierrez but weren’t. He allowed a game-winning home run to Brandon Dixon. I can’t blame this game on Kennedy. He pitched well but made a mistake on a curve after the inning was extended by two plays that will be made more often than not.