Royals Series Review: KC wins 4-0 vs Detroit; Take series 2-1
Kansas City Royals record improves to 10-5 after their 4-0 shutout victory vs Detroit Tigers.
Edinson Volquez, Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas, and Alcides Escobar shone bright as the Royals took the series from their nemesis.
The Royals showed great patience at the plate and worked 5 walks vs starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey.
Escobar lead off the bottom of the first inning with a double to left-center. Moose singled, Esky held up at 3rd to make sure it dropped in for a hit. Lorenzo Cain hit an RBI line drive up the middle, Pelfrey made a stab and it caromed off his glove, back toward catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who froze at home plate to take the throw that never came. 1-0 Royals.
Saltalamacchia is either a pretty decent Major League catcher, or the least popular beverage at Starbucks.
I wrote in my notebook that the series was in severe jeopardy for Det, at this time. Eric Hosmer hit a hard line drive to 2nd base that was caught and turned into a double play, catching Moose off 2nd. Kendrys Morales hit a single to centerfield, and Gordo worked Pelfrey for a walk. Sal Perez grounded out to 2nd to end the inning. 28 pitches, 4 hits, 1 walk, but only one run scored.
Jarrod Dyson and Esky performed a rare double steal in the 2nd.
The lion-hearted Volquez was spectacular in the first 2 innings taking only 22 pitches to record 6 outs. Two of the outs were strikeouts and many of his pitches were used on those.
Gordo made an underrated play in the 3rd. He deked Jose Iglesias, who was approaching 2nd, like he was going to catch a fly ball. That decoy in not used with 2 outs since it doesn’t matter if it’s caught. If he slowed down just for an instant Gordon’s deke worked. Gordon threw him out at 3rd for yet another outfield assist. No one else mentioned the deke by Gordon, so take it with a grain of Saltalamacchia.
In the 4th inning Justin Upton hit a long shot to center/left-center. Cain was playing Upton to right, so Gordon made a blazing full run body dive at the fence, catching the ball over his left shoulder while sliding along the warning track near centerfield. Gordo’s second great play in two innings.
“That was one of the best plays I’ve ever seen him make,” said Volquez.
Miguel Cabrera seemed to agree, as he stood at home plate nodding his head up and down, while the Royal fans gave Alex a long standing ovation, for his outstanding Sportcenter headline grab.
In the 4th inning it was typical national announcer Royals-gaffe. Omar Infante lead off the 4th with a double off the 3rd baseman’s glove. Jarrod Dyson pushed a nice sacrifice bunt to the pitcher’s mound and moved Infante to 3rd base with 1 out. The national color announcer for Foxsports1 freaked out as we’ve seen so many do when they can’t fathom the Royals moves. He chastised and excoriated the bunt by the Diceman. Worst move in the history of modern baseball and all that good stuff we’ve all heard a thousand times…Next pitch Escobar drives a long sac fly to the left-field warning track. Royals lead 2-0. Same announcer over-explains his simple mistake after the fact, as usual. “gave up an out”, “chance at big inning”, “too early” Next pitch – Home Run by The Moose. Royals 3-0. Sometimes you have to wonder how much they pay these experts to flap their lips.
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Moose’s 5th homer and 6th RBI put him on track for ridiculous 55 home runs and a paltry 66 RBI.
The Royals pushed the score to 4-0 in the same inning when they executed a very rare 2nd double steal. Cain walked after the Moose homerun then Hoz singled to left-center and extended his hitting streak to 11 games, his AL leading on-base streak to 23, and move Cain to 2nd. Cain stole third and Hoz stole 2nd, for the Royals 2nd double steal of the game. Cain scored as the ball bounced away from the 3rd baseman who held onto Cain for dear life. As Hosmer approached 3rd and the ump was about to call holding, the 3rd baseman impishly let Cain go who then walked in to make it 4-0, the final score. No penalty was called since the run scored.
In the 5th, Hoz made a nice snag on a foul pop-up and threw it to a kid in the crowd. He almost stepped into the dugout before he realized there were only 2 outs. Everyone got a good laugh, and the kid got a nice souvenir, a ball that was supposed to still be in play.
After needing 94 pitches to get through 4 innings, Pelfrey got a 1-2-3 fifth. Look out Jake Arrieta!
Kelvin Herrera came in to pitch the 8th, got 2 strikeouts then got Cabrera to fly out to Dice on the first pitch. He looked excellent and his fastball speed reached 98 mph.
Danny Duffy pitched the final inning and was stellar again in relief. After 2 up and 2 down (Martinez and Martinez) the Royals fans could be heard chanting “Let’s Go Royals!” at a decibel level usually reserved for Arrowhead attendees, at the lot next door. Nick Castellanos then flied out to right and the Royals won 4-0.
Volquez moves to 3-0 for the season after pitching a game Ned Yost called “fantastic”.
Next: Has Jamaal Charles Lost a Step?
Jake Arrieta pitched a no-hitter for the Chicago Cubs that finished 60 seconds before the Royals-Tigers game ended on Thursday night. A 16-0 laugher where Arreita gave up 4 walks in 119 pitches. The only thing historic that I saw from that game was the Reds performance. It was one of the worst performance in the history of baseball, including middle school kickball, and neighborhood stickball games.