|Kansas City Royals (18-27)||0||0||0||0||1||1||1||1||0||4||12||0|
|Baltimore Orioles (29-18)||0||1||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||8||0|
|WP: Greg Holland (1 – 2)
SV: Jonathan Broxton (9)
LP: Pedro Strop (3 – 2)
The Royals rallied from a 3-0 deficit with four unanswered runs to beat the “other” Chen, sparked by Billy Butler’s 10th HR of the season, a 3-hit game by Eric Hosmer and a stellar effort by the bullpen to snap a three-game losing skid.
Jonathan Broxton, who had his first save opportunity since his blown save – also in a Felipe Paulino start – May 17 against Baltimore in a 4-3 15-inning loss (yes that is right, first save opportunity in a week and a half), nailed down the door in the ninth to register is ninth save and complete the comeback.
Paulino allowed a pair of solo HR’s to JJ Hardy and Chris Davis in the second and third innings and an Adam Weiters sacrifice fly after an Adam Jones 3B, which extended his career-long hitting streak to 17 games, making it 3-0 Orioles, who have owned the Royals this year. Paulino, who entered with a 2-1 record and 1.42 ERA, tossed seven shutout innings against Baltimore in that May 17 game but did not have his best stuff today and left several pitches up, but still only allowed three runs in 5 2/3 IP. He is easily the Royals best pitcher. The bullpen – Lil’ Timmy Collins, The Flying Dutchman Greg Holland, Jose Mijares, then Broxton.
The Royals scored single runs in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings to complete the comeback.
Eric Hosmer went 3-for-4, his second 3-hit game in his last three games, singling in two runs – the first run in the fifth after a Johnny Giavotella double and the go-ahead eighth – and scored the game-tying run in the seventh from a double down the line from Humberto is “Spanish for doubles” Quintero.
It was Hosmer’s seventh inning hit that may have finally been a slump buster – a rare infield double.
“Greatest double I’ve ever seen,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “That’s a heads up play by Hosmer to be able to get to second base.”
Hosmer turned first and kept on running as former Royal Wilson Betemit watched it roll, hoping it would go foul. When Hosmer turned first, Betemit had his back turned, but he should have picked up the ball and thrown out Hosmer.
The slow-rolling 80-foot double may be indication that Hosmer’s luck is turning. He suffered some bad luck in his sophomore season slump, and although he clearly has the tools, some good luck could go a long way in getting hot. In his last five games (21 PAs) Hosmer has hit .400/.471/.533. That’s three doubles, six singles, and two walks in five games and he is finally back over the Mendoza line and will enter today with an average over .200 (.206) for just the 10th game this season.
The Royals scored the winning run off Pedro Strop (3-2), who came in with 13 straight scoreless appearances. A walk and a single loaded the bases for Hosmer, who lined a single to left.
Billy 4-bagger Butler hit his 10th HR, a 436-foot foot bomb to left-center in sixth to make it 3-2.
He now has 22 HR in his last four months after he changed his approach at the plate late last season when he hit just seven HR through July.
Despite the Royals 3-game losing skid on the road, they are still 13-10 on the road following yesterday’s win, which came after an 8-2 loss where the Royals appeared lifeless.
Jarrod Dyson left the in the third inning after a collision with Alex Gordon and was replaced by Mitch Maier, who went 1-for-4 in his absence. The question becomes, if he goes to the DL, who is his replacement, 40-man roster players Jason Bourgeious (who is hitting .161 in Omaha). Derrick Robinson or David Lough, or…Wil Myers. #freewily
Jeff Francouer has been hot, hitting .520 (13-25) this week.
Today Luke Hochevar (3-5, 6.61 ERA) battles Brian Matusz (4-4, 4.86) in the rubber game. The duo faced each other in Baltimore’s 5-3 win in Kansas City May 18. Hochevar took the loss after having a 3-0 lead, but leaving to a 3-3 tie.
- Dyson sustains bruised hamstring in collision | royals.com: News
- Sam Mellinger | Billy Butler is the Royals’ unsung hero – KansasCity.com
- Offense Around The Horn – Royals Authority
- What’s Luck Got to do With It – Kings of Kauffman
- Chone Figgins: M’s Won’t Play Him, Won’t Dump Him – Baseball Nation
- Why the Phillies Should Trade Cole Hamels – Beyond the Box Score
- Pirates DFA One-Season Wonder Nate McLouth – Baseball Nation