The Kansas City Royals just keep finding ways to win. Even when it seems as though their offense has betrayed them, they do just enough to stay around, eventually clawing out a victory. That proved to be the case tonight, as the Royals outlasted the Cincinnati Reds, taking a 3-1 victory in 13 innings.
Cincinnati jumped on the board early against Royals starter Edinson Volquez. The second Reds batter, Eugenio Suarez, slugged a solo home run to left to put Cincinnati on top. That would prove to be the best scoring chance until the Reds used a one out walk and an infield single to put runners on first and second in the fifth. Volquez was able to escape further damage by getting Billy Hamilton, perhaps the fastest man in baseball, to ground into a double play to end the inning.
Rasiel Iglesias, meanwhile, baffled the Royals offense all night. In his seven innings, he allowed only three hits and a walk, striking out three. Down 1-0 and heading into the top of the ninth, with the dominant Aroldis Chapman set to enter the game, it appeared as though the Royals were heading to defeat.
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Instead, the Kansas City Royals fought back. Ben Zobrist continued his clutch play by sending Chapman’s 2-1 pitch to deep left center for a home run, tying the game. Lorenzo Cain followed with a base hit to center, and after a strikeout, stole second and third. Salvador Perez hit a ground ball to second, and with Cain heading home, Brandon Phillips attempted to throw him out. Caught in a rundown, Cain appeared to escape and was ruled safe at home, but following a three and a half minute review, the call was overturned, as the game would go into extra innings.
The Royals magic appeared in the thirteenth inning. Jarrod Dyson singled, and with no one left on the bench, Kris Medlen went to the plate. He dropped down a sacrifice bunt, and reached with Reds pitcher Ryan Mattheus threw the ball away, allowing Dyson to score. Medlen moved to second on a wild pitch, and after going to third on a base hit, scored on Zobrist’s infield single.
Cincinnati intentionally walked Eric Hosmer with one out to load the bases, giving the Royals a prime opportunity to put the game away. However, Dylan Axelrod was able to strike out Perez and escape when Mike Moustakas flew out to left. That wasted opportunity did not matter, as Greg Holland came on to slam the door, preserving the Kansas City Royals 3-1 victory.
Volquez pitched well, allowing the one run on four hits and three walks, striking out seven in the no decision. Zobrist was 2-6 with a home run and two RBI in the victory.