If you had Vin Mazzaro holding the Rangers at arm’s length to get a win in Arlington, well, you may be the only one.
Mazzaro threw five innings of good enough baseball, scattering seven hits and walking just one. He got through his first three innings unscathed and set the tone after the Royals put six runs on the board early.
The bullpen was stellar and held down a 7-4 win to give the Royals their fourth straight win and a 4-1 road trip.
The Royals took advantage of a shaky Colby Lewis early. Jarrod Dyson doubled to lead off and Eric Hosmer reached on a Lewis throwing error. Despite a Hosmer baserunning error and an RBI fielder’s choice by Billy Butler, the Royals put up four as Brayan Pena hit a two run single and Chris Getz added another run with a hit.
Dyson singled to lead off the second and scored on a Billy Butler double and a Mike Moustakas homer in the third staked the Royals to a 6-0 lead.
Mazzaro allowed two runs in the bottom of the fourth but escaped. A hit by Ian Kinsler and two stolen bases turned into a run in the fifth when Mazzaro got a sacrifice fly from Josh Hamilton (which is a victory the way he’s been hitting).
Then the bullpen took over.
Tim Collins was as good as I’ve ever seen him, striking out five of the six batters he faced, including the first four. His curveball was filthy – Danny Duffy tweeted that it needed a doctor because it was sick – and he had great location. The only non-strikeout was a routine ground out. Aaron Crow worked a perfect eighth that included a strikeout of Hamilton and Jose Mijares got two quick outs in the ninth before Brandon Snyder hit a pinch-hit homer. With a 7-4 game, Greg Holland got the last out to finish off the Rangers.
The Royals took two out of three in Chicago and head home for a two game series against Baltimore and an interleague series with Arizona. They’ve built up some momentum and at 15-20, aren’t looking as bad as they had during their 12 game losing streak in the first three weeks of the season. They showed some fight and are only 4.5 games out of first place.
Eric Hosmer may be showing signs of breaking out of his slump, hitting a blast to left-center for a double and ripping a hard line drive up the middle for a single. He’s been hitting the ball hard most of the time. When it gets through, his numbers will start looking better.