If the opening salvo between the KC Royals and Detroit Tigers was any indication, expect fireworks in this series. Jason Hammel, unsurprisingly, supplied the matches.
Boy, that Whit Merrifield had a swell night, didn’t he? At 3-for-4, he finished just a single short of the cycle—a feat not accomplished by a KC Royals player since the immortal George Brett, nearly 27 years ago.
Oh, the actual game? Well, Jason Hammel was the starting pitcher so you already know that the opposing team scored a lot of runs. The KC Royals did too, just not enough to overcome in a 10-7 loss to the Detroit Tigers.
Whit got the scoring started with a leadoff home run in the third inning, then brought Salvador Perez around to score with a triple in the fourth. When Jorge Soler scored him a single, the KC Royals had staked Hammel to a 3-0 lead.
“How nice,” Hammel must’ve thought, right before burning everything to the ground.
Here’s how Hammel completed his evening: leadoff walk to Alex Presley, Jose Iglesias single, wild pitch, Andrew Romine strikeout, Alex Avila walk, Miguel Cabrera walks (scoring Presley). He got one out, walked in a run and kindly loaded the bases for Mike Minor.
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Although I’m a gigantic Minor homer, it’s difficult to overlook the turd he gifted KC Royals fans Monday night. His first pitch to Victor Martinez ended up a two-run double and he worked (maybe not the best phrase) a 3-1 count to J.D. Martinez, who obliged his hitter’s count with a two-run homer of his own.
Six Tigers scored in less time than it takes to save money on car insurance. Thanks Jason Hammel!
The KC Royals responded with two runs in the sixth and seventh. Perez singled and Merrifield doubled to put two runners in scoring position with one out. Walks to Soler and Alex Gordon scored Perez, then Alcides Escobar’s sac fly brought home Merrifield to make it a one-run game.
Eric Hosmer put the KC Royals back in front in the seventh, taking Francisco Rodriguez deep on a 1-0 count and scoring Lorenzo Cain after a leadoff walk. Royals 7, Tigers 6. Joakim Soria coming in to set up Kelvin Herrera.
[Needle scratches, record stops.]
When Hammel is terrible, it’s pretty much expected at this point. Soria blowing sky-high was new.
Here’s what it looked like:
Justin Upton single
Nicholas Castellanos walk
Presley single (Upton scores)
Wild pitch (Castellanos scores)
Matt Strahm endeavored to pull the fat out of the fire, striking out Avila, but Cabrera singled to score Presley and Iglesias before Victor Martinez grounded into a double-play to end the frame.
The KC Royals attempted to mount the big comeback in the nin–… well, I tried. In reality, after Mike Moustakas walked, Justin Wilson needed six pitches to get Cain (lineout), Hosmer (flyout) and Perez (flyout) to end the game.