The Kansas City Royals defeated the Oakland A’s 6-4 due to Paulo Orlando‘s continued triples hitting spree, but the real story of the game involved a slide at second base. Chances are, Brett Lawrie will be praying for a rainout in place of tomorrow’s matchup against Yordano Ventura.
Last time tonight’s starters, Sonny Gray and Jeremy Guthrie, faced off, the Royals won 1-0. Expectations were that this would once again be a low scoring game, and that certainly appeared to be the case early. Oakland scratched a run across in the top of the second when Ike Davis and Stephen Vogt had back to back singles to put runners at the corners. Brett Lawrie followed with what was generously called a sacrifice bunt instead of a hit attempt to give Oakland the 1-0 lead.
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The Royals struck back in the bottom of the third in classic Royals fashion. With two outs, the Kansas City Royals had five consecutive singles to score three runs and take the lead. The A’s had seen this refrain before, only with a bit more speed and Jon Lester on the mound.
Unfortunately, Guthrie was unable to hold the lead for long. Two pitches that caught far too much of the middle of the plate were hammered by Davis and Vogt for solo home runs, and the score was tied once again.
Guthrie seemed to settle in at that point, as he always seems to pitch to the score. In the bottom of the sixth, the Royals struck again. Salvador Perez hit a chopper down the third base line for a double, a ball that was truly reminiscent of the game winning hit agains teh A’s in the Wild Card game last year. After moving to second on a groundout, Omar Infante singled up the middle to give the Royals a 4-3 lead.
It appeared to be time for the Kansas City Royals bullpen Cerberus, but instead Guthrie came out to start the seventh. That proved costly, as Vogt deposited a 3-1 pitch into right for his second home run of the game, tying the game once again.
However, the drama came two batters later. Brett Lawrie follwoed with a base hit, and Josh Reddick hit a ground ball to Mike Moustakas. Moustakas flipped the ball to Alcides Escobar for the force at second, while Lawrie slid late with his cleats up, targeting Escobar’s ankle. Escobar collapsed in a heap, and needed to be helped off the field. Even though Escobar is said to have suffered a strained knee and is day to day at this point, Lawrie had better have a suit of armor when he steps in to the batter’s box tomorrow.
Vengeance for tonight came in the form of Paulo Orlando. Salvador Perez led off the eighth with a base hit, bringing Orlando to the plate and Jarrod Dyson in to the game as a pinch runner. As is the norm, Orlando drilled a ball into the right center gap, leading to his fourth triple of the year to give the Royals a 5-4 lead. he later scored on a sacrifice fly.
That run would prove to be the final margin, as Greg Holland worked around a two out walk to preserve the 6-4 victory. Wade Davis earned the win with a perfect eighth that required all of five pitches.