Ryan O’Hearn and Jorge Soler provided the blasts as the Kansas City Royals were able to overcome a blown save and salvage the series finale in Cleveland.
On Sunday, the Kansas City Royals entered the bottom of the 8th inning in the series finale against Cleveland with an 8-3 lead. To that point, Ryan O’Hearn had slugged his 8th home run of the season that hit the top of the wall in right-center field and Jorge Soler smacked an absolute no-doubt two-run shot in the top half of the 8th inning.
Soler, 27, collected his 90th and 91st RBI’s on said blast and is just two home runs shy of tying Mike Moustakas‘ single-season franchise record (38). It looked like it was going to be an easy win. At the time, I was thinking finally the offense showed up and the starting pitcher gave them a chance.
Eric Skoglund made his first start this season and threw 5.0 innings of 2 hit ball but walked 3 batters with no strikeouts. Unfortunately the bullpen reared its ugly face as Jacob Barnes served up a solo home run to Franmil Reyes in the bottom of the 8th inning. Ian Kennedy came in for the save but gave up a solo home run to Francisco Lindor and then a three-run game-tying home run to Reyes again.
Kennedy has generally been pretty good this season as the closer but left a 4-seam fastball over the heart of the plate and Reyes got all of it with 1 out remaining in the game. Thankfully, the Royals wasted little time in grabbing the lead right back as O’Hearn returned the favor by smacking a four-seamer left over the heart of the plate into the right field seats in the top half of the 10th inning.
The win doesn’t really do much for the Royals in the standings, if anything it just avoided the sweep. It was also really encouraging to see Nicky Lopez have a really good day as the 24-year old went 2-4 with 3 RBI’s including a line-drive two-run double off the right field wall in the top of the 8th inning.
The Royals will now head back to Kansas City for a 10-game homestand as they will welcome in the Oakland Athletics for 4 games, Baltimore for 3, and Detroit for 3. Danny Duffy should also be making his return to the rotation as well during the home stand. He made a rehab start for Double-A NW Arkansas last night and finished with a line of 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K.