If Game One of the doubleheader today is any indication, the KC Royals and the Tampa Bay Rays are going to play a classic day of baseball. At the end of this afternoon’s roller coaster affair, it was the Royals emerging victorious after Paulo Orlando hit a walkoff grand slam to give Kansas City the victory.
After a James Loney home run in the top of the second gave the Royals a 1-0 lead, the Royals answered in the bottom of the inning. The Royals loaded the bases with two outs, and forced home a run when Alex Gordon was hit by a pitch. On the very next offering, Kendrys Morales singled to right, plating two as the Royals took a 3-1 lead.
That lead disappeared in the fourth. Joey Butler singled, and Evan Longoria followed with a two run shot to left, tying the game. After the first out was recorded, Logan Forsythe walked and moved to third on David DeJesus‘ double. A sacrifice fly from Jake Elmore gave the Rays the lead once more, as they took a 4-3 advantage.
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The KC Royals continued to show their resiliency, fighting back in the bottom of the inning. Gordon homered, belting a shot into the waterfalls in right to tie the game. In the bottom of the seventh, the Royals had runners at the corners with two out, bringing Omar Infante to the plate. He delivered a base hit to center, plating Morales to give the Royals a 5-4 lead.
Typically, with Wade Davis and Greg Holland to close out the game, that score would have been expected to be the final margin. Instead, Holland had the rare off day, giving up a leadoff triple to Kevin Kiermaier and walking Curt Casili to start the top of the ninth. A strikeout brought Holland within a ground ball of escaping unscathed, but he uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Kiermaier to score, tying the game at 5-5.
That simply set the stage for the Royals third walkoff victory in four games. After Brad Boxberger recorded the first out, Eric Hosmer and Alex Rios had back to back base hits, and a walk to Omar Infante loaded the bases. Paulo Orlando, recently recalled from Omaha, stepped to the plate and unloaded on Boxberger’s 1-0 offering, sending the pitch into the Kansas City Royals bullpen for a walkoff grand slam, giving the Royals a 9-5 victory.
Despite blowing the save, Greg Holland earned the win, allowing a run on a hit and two walks while striking out two. Orlando was 2-5 with the grand slam and two runs scored in the KC Royals victory.