Anthony Lerew needs an official nickname. I keep thinking of the movie Billy Madison when he pitches. “You want some-a this milk, Sideburns?”
At any rate, Lerew gave the Royals six strong innings last night to defeat the White Sox and earn his first major league victory.
Kansas City banged out 12 hits but still only scored three runs. It’s the curse of the single.
The Royals did all their damage in the first two innings, working 36 pitches out of Mark Buehrle and drawing two walks in the first inning while scoring two runs. They got another run on a Billy Butler single in the second.
The Royals showed unusual selectiveness, drawing five walks total for the game, but Scott Podsednik was caught stealing by Buerhle and Yuniesky Betancourt butchered a suicide squeeze attempt and Mike Aviles was hung up between third and home, so the Royals weren’t smart on the basepaths. Even going 4-11 with runners in scoring position, the Royals only scored three times. Of the ten hits, only two were for extra bases.
Thankfully, Lerew was strong, allowing only four baserunners. The only blemish on his night was a solo homerun by Carlos Quentin. From there, the bullpen continued their recent dominance. Victor Marte, Robinson Tejeda and Joakim Soria combined for three scoreless innings to secure the win. A Betancourt error, a walk and a hit batter created some drama in the top of the ninth, but Soria got the last two outs on popups to end the game.
Jose Guillen went 0-3 with a walk, but his 21 game hitting streak came to an end.
Stars of the Game
Anthony Lerew, 6 IP, 4 K, 2 BB, 3 H, 1 ER
Billy Butler, 2-4, 2 RBI
Jason Kendall, 1-2, 2 BB, 2 RS
Mike Aviles, 3-4, 1 RBI
Willie Bloomquist, 3-4, will probably get nine starts in a row after that, now…
The win improves the Royals record to 33-44. They’re securely in fourth place in the AL Central, 7 games behind the White Sox and 4 games ahead of Cleveland. Ned Yost has managed Kansas City to a 21-21 record since replacing Trey Hillman.