Some late-inning heroics kept Dr. Vargas’ malpractice insurance from going up, and it gave the Kansas City Royals yet another solid win.
It’s nearing 1 a.m. Central as I finish this up. I must arise for work* in a scant six hours. Just know that I’m going to make this recap about the Kansas City Royals comeback win to cap a sweep in Seattle, give them sole possession of the second Wild Card spot and move them into a half-game of the Indians for the AL Central lead as brief as possible.
*–Actual work. If you’ve learned anything about writing, the internet and what this country values these days, you know that people who love to write also have real jobs to support that habit. No different than guys who get MBA’s to support a gambling habit, really.
So that’s why I’m giving Jason Vargas a pass tonight. There were some complications in Dr. Vargas’ operating room tonight, but some late-inning heroics served to get Vargas a no-decision and cap yet another comeback win for the Kansas City Royals in a 9-6 victory against the Mariners.
To Vargas’ credit, he grinded after surrendering six earned in the game’s first three innings. A lesser hurler might’ve adopted a demeanor and body language which screamed, “Please come get me, I’m dying out here.” Instead, Vargas lasted five innings with what could charitably be called his C- minus, keeping the Kansas City Royals around long enough for the bats to come alive.
Well, that’s not quite accurate. The bats had plenty of life in the very first inning. Whit Merrifield (that man again) singled to lead off the contest, while Lorenzo Cain drew a walk two batters later. Eric Hosmer then doubled both home on is season’s 20th two-bagger, then came around to score on Mike Moustakas’ (THAT MAN AGAIN) 25th home run of the campaign.
It was 4-0, Good Guys. And Seattle hadn’t come to bat yet.
Unfortunately, they would. And they’d have lots of early success doing it. After Jean Segura led off the Mariners first with a single, he advanced on to second on Robinson Cano’s single and stole third, scoring on a Nelson Cruz groundout. The four-run lead would be halved after a Ben Gamel single brought Cano around to score.
The hosts would take the lead in the second. Mike Zunino led off the frame with a home run, then Segura took Vargas to the deep part of the park, scoring Jarrod Dyson and turning a lead into a deficit with one swing of the bat. The next inning, Cruz would give Seattle some breathing room with a homer of his own.
And just like that, Vargas and the Kansas City Royals locked back in.
In the fifth, Lorenzo Cain got the lean back on with a mammoth blast to left center, nearly finding the second deck and very definitively tying the game at six.
Which is where it would remain into extra innings.
Defense played a vital part in this one. It seemed as though once an inning, Alcides Escobar did something to snipe a would-be baserunner that caused Rex Hudler to gush like a giddy schoolgirl on her way to winter formal. In the fifth, after Cruz crushed a liner off the very top part of the wall, Alex Gordon played it on a hop and rifled the ball back in to Merrifield, whose heads up play and quick tag got Cruz by the slimmest of margins to turn extra bases into the inning’s second out.
Your guess is as good as mine on the interpretation.
Things sailed along into the 10th, at which point Perez decided enough was enough. Salvy parked his season’s 17th home run over the fence, scoring Hosmer and putting the Kansas City Royals ahead for good. Gordon’s single to score Moustakas was just icing on the cake.
An off-day is ahead tomorrow before the Kansas City Royals close the pre-All Star schedule against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Use your off-day wisely, won’t you? By reading this very site.