Royals Report: Vintage Rally Down Nats For 7-6 Win
The Royals showed why they are World Champions Tuesday night, staging a three-run ninth inning rally after looking all but dead for a 7-6 walkoff win over the Washington Nationals at Kauffman Stadium.
The Kansas City Royals win runs their record to 14-12 on the season. Washington drops to 18-8.
Really, the KC Royals appeared ready to slink back into a losing streak after blowing an early 3-1 lead, highlighted by a sloppy error by Jarrod Dyson in right field.
Dyson allowed what appeared to be a windblown ball to drift back over his head and fall into the right field corner for a double. While the ball would have scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly, Dyson’s error opened the door that allowed the Nationals to put up a three-run rally in the fifth to seize a 5-3 lead.
With the way the Kansas City Royals have been hitting of late, two runs appeared to be an insurmountable lead. The Nationals tacked on a solo home run against Dillon Gee in the eighth to take a 6-3 lead.
Cue the comeback.
Alcides Escobar got the rally started with a one-out single in the eighth. Cain followed with another single to put runners at first and third for Eric Hosmer. Nationals manager Dusty Baker went to his pen to replace starter Tanner Roark with lefty reliever Felipe Rivero.
Hosmer smacked a hard grounder up the middle that could have been a double play ball, but Hoz beat the relay to first with a headfirst slide that allowed Escobar to score from third. While Kendrys Morales flew out to end the inning, the Royals had made the score 6-4 and seemed to gain a little momentum.
In the ninth, the KC Royals greeted Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon with a weak infield single from Alex Gordon that found its way through the shift, and a hard liner to left by Salvador Perez to put runners at first and third.
Terrance Gore pinch ran for Perez, and promptly stole second base. The second base umpire appeared ready to call Gore out, but the ball dribbled away from Washington second baseman Daniell Murphy (thanks, again Murph! It’s just like the World Series!).
That set up pinch hitter Mike Moustakas, who had the evening off with a sore thumb, to single home the tying runs. Alcides Escobar sent Moose to third with another single. Lorenzo Cain then launched another single into the right field corner, which scored Moustakas. Cain’s ball probably would have gone for extra bases had Moose not ended the game with the winning run.
Just when you had left the Kansas City Royals for dead, they rose up to bite a team that had not lost a game when leading after the 7th inning before Tuesday night.
That’s why the KC Royals are the champions, folks. They know how to steal games in the late innings.
#RoyalsDevilMagic is alive and well.
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Alcides Escobar has broken out of his early-season funk by going 8-13 with two doubles in the last three games. Escobar has boosted his average to .259 from .220, and is now on a tear at the top of the Kansas City Royals order. He’s hardly a strong fantasy shortstop, since his value as a player is mostly defensive. But, he can be a useful injury stopgap when he’s running hot. Pick him up if you have a need.
Lorenzo Cain extended his hitting streak to six games, and now appears to be emerging from his April doldrum. Many fantasy owners had benched Cain after his slow start. Now is the time to put him back in your lineup. He looks like he’s producing again.
KEY PITCHING PERFORMANCES:
Kansas City Royals:
Chris Young: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR
Chien-Ming Wang: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 K, W (1-0)
Tanner Roark: 7.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Jonathan Papelbon: 0.2, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 K, BS (2), L (0-2)
KEY HITTING PERFORMANCES:
Kansas City Royals:
Eric Hosmer: 1-4, 3 RBI
Alcides Escobar: 4-5, 2 R, 1 RBI
Lorenzo Cain: 2-5, 1 RBI
Mike Moustakas: 1-1, 1 R, 2 RBI
Daniel Murphy: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR (3), 1 RBI
Ryan Zimmerman: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B
Jayson Werth: 2-4, 2 R, 1 HR (5), 1 RBI
Wilson Ramos: 3-4, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI
Anthony Rendon: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 RBI
Next: Numbers Behind The Royals Struggling Offense
The KC Royals will send Kris Medlen (1-2, 4.87 ERA) to the mound against Stephen Strasburg (4-0, 2.25 ERA) for the Washinton Nationals 7:15 CST at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on Monday, May 2.