The win streak came to an end Saturday thanks to three home runs allowed by Mike Minor.
Andrew Benintendi had yet another terrific game with a triple and a home run. After a miserable April, Benintendi’s batting average is already back up to .295.
BIG PICTURE: The loss ends the Royals’ five-game winning streak. They don’t lose any ground on the Chicago White Sox since they also lost on Saturday.
NOTES: RHP Josh Staumont pitched a live bullpen on Thursday… The Royals sent RHP Luis De La Rosa and RHP Grant Gambrell to the Boston Red Sox as the players to be named in the trade that brought LF Andrew Benintendi to the Royals.
SANTANA NEEDS TO HELP HIS INFIELD… Carlos Santana plays first base, but he’s not a first baseman. His defense is pretty good. He’s just missing something that could help his infield mates. He often doesn’t stretch for throws on close plays. We have seen this throughout the season. He did it again on Saturday. With a chance for a double play, Santana waited for the ball to get to him. If he would stretch toward the ball and reach out with his glove, Santana would switch some of these safe calls at first base to outs.
WHIT TIES THE GAME… Whit Merrifield is a terrific hitter. Even though he has had a below-average offensive season for him so far this season, Whit is the man you want at the plate with the game on the line. He came through Saturday in the second inning. With the blesses loaded and two outs, Whit singled back up the middle off of Jose Berrios so tie the game.
UNDERSTAND THE SITUATION… Baseball is about doing things the way they have always been done in many aspects of the game. The statistical revolution is an exception to this rule. The problem with this revolution is that although Bill James opened our eyes to new ways of looking at the game, those who have come after him think that everything can be accounted for in the numbers.
Base coaches often approach the game the same way it has been approached for the past fifty years. With two outs, a base hit to the outfield should score a runner from second. But in the third inning Saturday, the Twins tried to send Nelson Cruz home right after he had stolen second base. Cruz seemed to struggle running to second. He was likely only safe because the ball got by Salvy. So when there was a single to center with Cruz on second, I said Michael Taylor would throw him out at the plate. He did. It wasn’t close. Sometimes you have to do things differently. And no, it’s not always a good idea to send the runner with two outs.
BENCREDIBLE… Andrew Benintendi continued his hot hitting Saturday. He hit a two-out, two-run home run in the fifth to give the Royals a 4-3 lead.
When the Royals traded for Benintendi, I was pretty excited. The Benintendi I was familiar with was a terrific hitter. He was a top-of-the-order bat for a Boston team with a lot of offense. Sure, he had struggled in recent seasons when he tried to be someone he isn’t, but I thought that anyone in his shoes would go back to what had worked for them in the past. Benintendi did just that. I couldn’t have expected him to do as well as he has since May arrived, but the Royals need to talk with him about a contract extension.
TAYLOR IS HERE FOR DEFENSE, BUT… You are familiar with the old saying about what happens when you assume, right? Well, that happened to Michael Taylor in the sixth. Nelson Cruz hit a ball in the gap, which Taylor cut off for what appeared to be a single. Taylor ASSUMED it was a single. But Cruz didn’t assume a single. Instead, he saw how Taylor played it and decided to make him pay. Cruz busted his butt and turned a single into a double because of Taylor’s lazy play in left-center.
TWINS GOING DEEP ON MINOR… The Minnesota Twins hit three home runs off of Mike Minor. The three home runs accounted for all five of the Twins’ runs. Somehow, the Royals are over .500 with some pretty bad starting pitching this season.
NEXT UP: The Royals will go for the series win Sunday at 1:10pm. Brady Singer takes the mound for the Royals, so who knows how that will go?
Thanks for reading…