Just over 48 hours ago, it seemed as though Mike Moustakas was destined to be sent to Omaha in an attempt to right the ship. Today, Moustakas went from the poster child for what was wrong with the Royals offense to hero in the Royals 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
Moustakas had his chance almost immediately. The Royals loaded the bases with one out, bringing up the struggling third baseman. Moustakas ripped the 1-1 pitch from Jhoulys Chacin down the right field line, clearing the bases and staking the Royals to an early 3-0 lead. The hope for an even larger inning was dashed when Moustakas was thrown out at third on a ball that strayed away from Michael McKenry and was immediately followed by another double from Alcides Escobar.
However, as Chacin settled in, Jason Vargas did his best to make certain that Moustakas’s hit would hold up. Through five innings, Vargas was in command, keeping the Rockies off balance and stifling the offense of one of the better teams in baseball. However, he ran into trouble in the top of the sixth. With one out, the Rockies had runners at the corners. After a strikeout, the dangerous Carlos Gonzalez was up at the plate.
Then, Mike Moustakas came through once again. Salvador Perez made a snap throw down to third on a ball to push the count to 2-1, firing the ball down to Moustakas to pick off Charlie Culberson and end the inning.
The Rockies finally got on the board in the seventh. With one out, Nolan Arenado hit a popup that hit off of Pedro Ciriaco‘s glove for what was ruled a double. Following a groundout, Drew Stubbs hit Vargas’s 3-1 pitch into the seats in left, bringing the Rockies within a run at 3-2.
Vargas left the game at that point, having pitched well overall. In his 6.2 innings of work, he allowed only those two runs on five hits and a walk, striking out eight batters. He even was able to get Troy Tulowitzki ejected, as Tulowitzki was tossed for arguing a third strike called against him in the fourth. The Royals bullpen did the rest, nailing down the victory and the two game sweep of the Rockies.
Moustakas was 2-3, hitting two doubles and driving in all three runs. Perez also had two hits, walked once and scored a run in the win.