There were heroes aplenty as the KC Royals staged a fierce comeback from an early 5-0 deficit against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium, then held on for a 7-5 victory. There was small ball, dramatic long ball, and some wicked good bullpen work as KC celebrated its fifth straight victory with a giant party. As the Great One famously used to used to say: “How sweeeet it is.”
For the second straight night, the much-maligned Billy Butler — whose season-long struggles at the plate have been widely discussed — got his redemption on and hit a two-run homer to break a tie and propel his team to victory. The first time was impressive. But two nights in a row? Way to go, Billy.
Kelvin Herrera led a lights-out performance for the Royals relief corps. After Scott Downs issued a walk and single to start the seventh inning, Kelvin masterfully induced a pop-up, a harmless fly ball, and a strikeout to preserve his team’s 7-5 lead.
Wade Davis and Greg Holland then did their usual brilliant thing in the eighth and ninth innings. Ball game. Is there anything better than having two extremely high quality closers? Well, a big bat. But those don’t grow on trees you know. Well, I guess the bats do. But not the batters. You know what I mean. Ned does.
Jeremy Guthrie started for KC and got knocked around pretty good. He gave up all five Indians runs in the second inning, and his final line was ten hits, two walks, and just the five-spot in 5 & 2/3rds innings. It was good enough for the win, an overall resilient outing by the veteran.
The Royals go for the series sweep, and their sixth straight, Sunday afternoon at 1:00 PM.