Kansas City Royals: Jorge Lopez impresses in win against Marlins

(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

In the first game for the battle of the 3rd overall pick, Kansas City Royals starter Jorge Lopez was impressive against the Marlins.

It’s amazing that a series between two teams at the bottom of the league can have such high implications. The Kansas City Royals and Miami Marlins entered Friday evening with the fourth and third-worst records in baseball, respectively. The Royals are just mere percentage points ahead of the Marlins, who have played two fewer games.

Given the early projected 2020 MLB Mock Draft, Arizona State first baseman, Spencer Torkelson would be the perfect pick for this team as he has a huge bat that is badly needed for this future lineup. Jorge Lopez was on the mound for the first game in the series.

He’s been a reliever turned starter out of necessity this season and it’s generally not been pretty. Entering Friday, Lopez had a 6.59 ERA in the second half and an 8.31 ERA in his last 7 starts. However, he flipped the script on a Marlins lineup that is third-worst in baseball with a 0.240 team batting average.

That being said, Lopez still has to go out there and pitch and that he did. He tossed 6.0 innings of 4 hit ball, while not allowing any runs and struck out 5 batters. His season ERA was lowered to an unimpressive 6.23. Lopez needed 95 pitches to get through 6 innings and threw 61 of those for strikes.

In terms of the offense, the Royals didn’t provide much run support for him but it was enough. Whit Merrifield drove in Meibrys Viloria on an RBI-single in the top half of the 3rd inning. Ryan O’Hearn lasered a double off the left-wall field in the top half of the 7th inning to drive in Alex Gordon and that made the score 2-0. Hunter Dozier launched his 25th home run into the right-center field seats in the top half of the 8th inning to make it a 3-0 score.

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The bullpen backed Lopez and the offense as Kevin McCarthy needed just 10 pitches to get through the 7th while Ian Kennedy collected his 27th save of the season. Game two of the series is set for tomorrow evening with Danny Duffy back on the mound.