The Royals broke their five game losing streak with help from Jason Vargas, who made his first start in more than a year. Kansas City’s bullpen held on for a 3-2 win on Saturday night.
The Kansas City Royals improved to 75-73 with their 3-2 win on Saturday night. With the Cleveland Indians out of reach due to their 11 game lead with 14 to play, KC’s only hope for the post season is a wild card. Kansas City trails the Orioles and Blue Jays by 6 games for an AL wild card.
Jason Vargas returned to make the start Saturday after last pitching for KC on July 21, 2015. Vargas lasted 3.0 innings, allowing 2 hits, 1 walk, and 1 earned run with 1 strikeout. Overall, he threw 51 pitches and enjoyed a successful return from Tommy John surgery.
Vargas would have shut out the White Sox over his three innings, had shortstop Alcides Escobar not blundered by throwing to second base on a fielder’s choice. The mistake allowed Tim Anderson to reach second base safely and prevented the Royals from recording an out at first. Jose Abreu then single to score Anderson from second base.
Dillon Gee followed Jason Vargas with 4.1 innings of relief, allowing 5 hits, 0 walks, and 1 earned run with 5 strikeouts. He left after giving up two singles in the eighth inning in favor of reliever Joakim Soria. Soria allowed a double to Avasail Garcia to score one of the inherited baserunners, but managed to hand off a one-run lead to closer Wade Davis.
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Davis struck out the side to earn his 25th save in 28 chances.
The KC Royals tied up the game in the bottom of the first on Kendrys Morales sacrifice fly. They took the lead in the fifth on RBI singles from rookie Hunter Dozier and Eric Hosmer. Alcides Escobar opened the inning with a triple. Those three scores was all the pitching staff needed to bring home the win.
The win allowed Royals manager Ned Yost to finally earn his 1000th career win as a manager. Yost is 543-542 in Kansas City, and went 457-502 with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Here’s to Yost racking up 14 more managerial wins to finish the 2016 season and adding another post-season berth to his resume. Yes, it would pretty much take a miracle. But, finishing out the season on a winning streak would give Kansas City 89 wins on the season. Hey, the Indians won 10 straight games at the end of the 2013 to earn a wild card. Why not the Royals?