KC Royals lose; Scott Blewett finally gets his chance

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The KC Royals lost Friday night. But a young pitcher finally made his major league debut.

The KC Royals won’t fondly remember Friday night’s game at Milwaukee. Two fourth inning home runs, including a grand slam, wiped out Kansas City’s 4-0 lead and propelled the Brewers to a 9-5 win. The loss assures the Royals, now 21-30, of a .500 season at best, and dropped them an almost insurmountable five games behind in the Wild Card competition with nine games left.

Royal rookie Scott Blewett will feel no less pain than his teammates. But for him, it was a night to remember for quite another reason.

Called up to the big club from its alternate training site three times this season without making it into a game, Blewett finally pitched in a major league contest. His debut came in the sixth with Kansas City down 9-4; it wasn’t without its tense moments, but it was successful.

Blewett replaced Jake Newberry to start the inning and, with his first major league pitch, retired Avisail Garcia on a grounder, then got the dangerous Christian Yelich the same way. But Ben Gamel doubled and Jedd Gyorko singled to give Keston Hiura a chance with runners at first and third. Blewett struck him out swinging.

Back out for the seventh, Blewett surrendered a one-out single to Orlando Arcia but then retired Luis Urias on an infield pop and struck out Jacob Nottingham (more on him later) to end the inning and his first big league outing.

That gave the 24-year old rookie a scoreless debut. He struck out two and didn’t issue a walk; 23 of his 35 pitches were strikes, and he kept the Brewers from increasing their lead.

Unfortunately for the KC Royals, though, two of Blewett’s pitching colleagues weren’t so effective. Danny Duffy, starting his first game since missing the team’s flight to Detroit Monday—an indiscretion that led manager Mike Matheny to hold him out of his scheduled Tuesday start—held Milwaukee scoreless until the Brewers battered him for six runs in the fourth and destroyed the Royals’ early 4-0 lead.

Whatever changed for Duffy did so quickly. Leadoff hitter Yelich got ahead in the count 2-0, then hammered Duffy’s next pitch out for his 11th home run of the season. Moments later, Duffy walked Arcia with the bases loaded; Urias struck out, but Nottingham made it 6-4 with a grand slam to left. Garcia singled to drive Duffy out of the game and Newberry struck out Yelich to end the inning.

It was an all-too familiar refrain for Duffy, who somehow manages to have an awful inning almost every time out. Of the 28 runs he’s surrendered this season, 12 have now come in the fourth, and he’s given up eight in the fifth and seven in the second.

Newberry had his own troubles in this one: after closing out the disastrous fourth, he allowed a two-out, three-run homer to Arcia in the fifth. And with that, the Brewers appeared to put the game out of reach, a result the Royals guaranteed when they left the bases loaded in the eighth. Salvador Perez made it an almost respectable 9-5 with a home run in the ninth, and that’s the way it ended.

Perez was the club’s biggest offensive bright spot. Hitting .307 when vision issues sidelined him in mid-August, and, before Friday, a blistering .523 in five games since returning, Perez ripped the Brewers for four hits, including a double to go with his homer, drove in four runs, and even stole a base. The effort raised his average to .368.

Whit Merrifield and Adalberto Mondesi had two hits apiece and Mondesi stole his major league-leading 18th base. Josh Staumont lowered his ERA to 1.71 with a scoreless eighth inning.

But on the mound, this night belonged to Blewett and probably secured his spot on the roster for what remains of this short season.

Next. Future uncertain for Junis. dark

Despite his team’s loss, KC Royals pitcher Scott Blewett pitched well and made his big league debut a night to remember.