The Royals lost 4-3 on a walk-off base hit from Elvis Andrus in the ninth inning.
BIG PICTURE: The loss dropped the Royals to 30-32 on the season. The four-game weekend series is now even at one game each. The Royals are struggling to score runners late in the game. They have had chances recently with runners on second base and no outs in the ninth and have failed to score them. The situational hitting needs to improve.
NOTES: RHP Jake Newberry cleared waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Omaha. Newberry was recently designated for assignment.
SINGER ESCAPES EARLY TROUBLE… Brady Singer was aggressive attacking batters early on in this game. Perhaps the best thing he did was get out of a second and third situation with two outs in the first inning. He should never have been in that situation. Whit Merrifield made an error that extended the inning. Sometimes pitchers struggle to shut down an inning after an error. The best pitchers overcome those problems more times than not. We have seen Singer struggle in those kinds of innings but not Friday. He picked up Whit and got out of the jam.
The Athletics finally got to Singer in the fourth inning. They put up three runs that inning. Singer settled back down and ended up going six innings. He allowed three runs on five hits and a walk and struck out seven.
Singer has put together back-to-back decent starts. They haven’t been outstanding, but they have kept the club in the game. I think everyone would take that from Singer the rest of the year.
SALVY GOES DEEP TWICE… Salvador Perez continues to be the most reliable batter for the Royals. Maybe you could say that Whit Merrifield is that, but Salvy is definitely up there. Who would you rather have at the plate with the game on the line? I’m taking Whit, but I wouldn’t argue with anyone who would choose Salvy.
The Royals trailed 3-0 in the seventh. The seventh inning is when the Royals started their scoring Thursday night, and they won 6-1. Salvy homered in the seventh inning on Friday and then again in the eighth inning. The second one tied the game at 3-3. It came off of former Royals pitcher Jake Diekman.
BASE RUNNING IS WAY MORE ENTERTAINING THAN HOME RUNS… Andrew Benintendi is fun to watch. He tried to score from first on a soft single to right-center in the bottom of the eighth. The play was close. The Royals challenged it, but the call was upheld. If he had not hesitated at third base, he might have scored. It’s hard to say. We couldn’t see the entire field on television, so who knows what exactly happened? It’s tough to place blame without knowing more.
Regardless of what could have happened, a runner trying to score from first on a soft single and being thrown out at the plate in a play that had to be reviewed is way more exciting than a home run. This is why I say it is important for MLB to figure out a way to reduce home runs and force batting average to become popular again.
And it’s not about stolen bases. When people hear that baserunning is exciting, they typically think of just stolen bases. That’s not what I’m talking about at all. Of course, stolen bases can be exciting. But what is most exciting is running the bases after the ball is put in play. Going first to third or even home on a hit. Tagging up on a flyout. Advancing on a lazy play in the outfield. Those are the plays I think about when I say we need more baserunning in the game.
NEXT UP: Jackson Kowar gets his second major league start Saturday at 3:07pm.
Thanks for reading…