For starters, I want to question the FS1 brass about what possibly constituted Minnesota and Kansas City’s being the featured Saturday night national broadcast. Were you throwing off because it was a college football Saturday? Were you hitting the Willians Astudillo/Effectively Wild demographic? Did y’all just want barbecue? It was the barbecue, wasn’t it?
It’s fine! In fact, it’s better than fine because it gave a national audience a chance to see the very best parts of the Kansas City… rebuild? Build? Mid-year retooling that offered a jaded fanbase some (possibly misguided) hope? Probably that last one. But regardless, the Royals showcased their finest wares in a 10-3 win against the Twins, Saturday.
The Royals got going in the first, taking a 1-0 lead thanks to Whit Merrifield’s leadoff double, Adalberto Mondesi’s groundout—which moved Merrifield to third—and another Alex Gordon groundout to score Merrifield. Gordon was not finished by a long shot.
After the Twins tied the game with an RBI single from Ehire Adrianza in the second, the Royals answered with another run, this one from the bat of Alcides Escobar to drive in Jorge Bonifacio, who singled with one out and moved to second on Rosell Herrera’s groundout.
Following a quiet third inning, the Royals broke through for four runs in the fourth. It started rather beautifully—Herrera singled and scored on an Escobar triple (we’re not done with him yet either). But then there was some consternation when Cam Gallagher’s bunt attempt failed but Astudillo made a pick-off attempt on Escobar that sailed into left and brought the veteran home. Paul Molitor seemed to think Gallagher had interfered with Astudillo’s throw, and he felt so strongly about it that he got tossed out of the game for his troubles.
No longer a candidate to bunt, Gallagher roped a double to left, moved to third on a BERTO single and then both scored when Gordon doubled, at which point the game was broken wide open.
Logan Forsythe singled in Gregorio Petit in the top of the fifth. Whoop-de-doo.
Gordon drove in Gallagher (single) and Merrifield (walk) in the bottom of the sixth with a double. An inning later, Escobar scored Herrera with a double, and then came around on Gallagher’s single—I’ll make a big deal out of Gordon and Escobar turning back the clock, but don’t sleep on Gallagher going 4-for-4 as he bids to become future Drew Butera.
Meanwhile, in just his third start since late June, Ian Kennedy didn’t have to work terribly hard—big leads are pretty easy for anyone to make stand up, even someone who entered on a 17-start streak without a win. Six innings, six hits, one earned and four strikeouts later and Kennedy had his first win since April 7.
In the eighth, the Twins pushed a run across against Glenn Sparkman, who relieved Tim Hill after Jake Cave’s leadoff single. Astudillo greeted Sparkman with a single to move Cave to third, and then Max Kepler scored him with a sac fly. Hilariously, the inning ended with an Adrianza pop up to third, only Astudillo had broken for second… or forgot there was only one out? Either way, he was doubled off first to end the frame and, for all intents and purposes, the evening.
Your Unusually Happy Tweet of the Game
Beautiful baseball being played by the Royals right now