The Royals pulled off one of their famous #RoyalsDevilMagic wins just when they needed it Thursday night, rallying for two runs in the ninth inning to take a 4-3 win over the Seattle Mariners at Kauffman Stadium.
The Kansas City Royals improved to 44-40, and gained a game on Indians to pull within 7.0 games of AL Central leader Cleveland. The Mariners fell to 43-43 and 10.0 games behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West.
Just when the KC Royals looked dead in the water, they rallied for two runs in both the eighth and ninth innings to erase a 3-0 lead by the Mariners. The win broke a four-game losing streak for the Kansas City Royals. Seattle starter James Paxton had held the KC Royals scoreless coming into the fateful eighth inning on a mere 57 pitches, aided by four dispiriting double plays.
Then the Kansas City Royals opened the eighth inning with singles by Salvador Perez (who broke out of an 0-25 slump) and Cheslor Cuthbert. Eibner popped out to short on a nice running catch by Ketel Marte, and Alcides Escobar grounded out to Paxton. This was the key play of the game. Paxton had an easy double play if he went to second base, but he seemed unprepared to field his position and instead made a soft underhand toss to first.
That allowed Paulo Orlando to come to the plate, who didn’t waste his opportunity. Orlando singled home two runs to put the KC Royals back in the game at 3-2.
In the ninth, Whit Merrifield broke out of an 0-17 slump with a lead off double against Mariners closer Steve Cishek. Cishek then hit Kendrys Morales ankle to put runners at first and second base, and Jarrod Dyson came into the game to run for Morales.
Eric Hosmer struck out swinging, before Salvador Perez blasted a double into the right-center gap to score both runners for the 4-3 walk-off win.
Just when fans (and pundits like me) are about to give up on this team, they pull off one of these vintage rallies to restore faith. The Kansas City Royals are a group that knows how to win. They just need to put an end the injury bug that keeps draining talent and consistency from the team.