Whit Merrifield put on a batting show and Danny Duffy cooled the dangerous bats of the Houston Astros in leading the KC Royals to an easy early May win.
Well on his way to leading the major leagues in hits for the second straight season, Whit Merrifield had perhaps his best month of 2019 in May. His 10 doubles, four triples and 17 RBI’s were all season highs; his 36 May hits shared first with June; his three home runs were his second-best of the year, and his .305 average was his third best.
And if the club’s May 7th 12-2 whipping of the powerful, eventual American League champion Houston Astros wasn’t Merrifield’s best game of the season, it certainly ranked among his finest of the year…and of his career.
Merrifield, batting in his customary leadoff spot and playing second base, flew out to left field in his first at-bat.
He lined a triple to the left-center gap in the third.
A run-scoring single followed in the fourth.
Another single came in the sixth.
Then, to cap off a four-for-five night, Merrifield drilled a 1-0 seventh-inning pitch from Framber Valdez for a grand slam home run that scored Ryan O’Hearn, Chris Owings and Martin Maldonado. The slam, the first of his career, gave the club a seven-run lead en route to its 10-run win, and complemented the grand slam O’Hearn hit in the third. (For good measure, Merrifield also stole the seventh of his season’s 20 stolen bases).
And Danny Duffy’s excellent six-plus innings helped secure the win. In one of the better starts of his 7-6 season, Duffy went 6.2 innings, struck out five, lowered his ERA to 3.06 and limited the Astros to two runs in setting the table for Glenn Sparkman‘s shut down of Houston over the final frames.
It was a fine night for Merrifield and Duffy…and, of course, the Royals.