Salvy, Bullpen Lead Royals Over Rays, 5-4
To put it plainly: Today sucked... Until about the ninth inning.
Three hours prior to todays game, the Royals announced that All Star left fielder, Alex Gordon would be scratched from todays lineup, and will undergo an MRI tomorrow in Kansas City for a sprained wrist that he injured during the Cleveland series.
To add insult to the wound, the team also announced that Jason Vargas would likely miss 3-4 weeks after an appendectomy. If you want my honest opinion, and I'm sure you don't- Appendectomies only require about a week to heal properly, unless of course it has ruptured.
A far less serious announcement was about Mike Moustakas. Moose sat today due to a stomach ailment, and will probably sit tomorrow too with left Drew Smyly on the mound.
With no Gordon and no Moose, of course the bats would fall silent.
Eric Hosmer homered on the first pitch of his first at-bat tonight.
It was not until the fourth inning that the Royals plated their second run on a Raul Ibanez groundout. What's baffling is that Kansas City had the bases loaded with no outs, and scored one measly run.
The Rays also loaded the bases in the fourth inning, but with two outs. Showing the Royals how it's done, Kevin Kiermaier blasted a grand slam to right field to give the Rays a 4-2 lead.
Yordano Ventura finished the night with 5.0 innings pitched, four earned runs, four walks, and five strikeouts. Ventura's rocky start raised his ERA to 3.28 on the season. This was Ace's last start before the All Star Break. Hopefully he can continue his success in the second half.
Royals relievers were rock solid tonight, as they pitched four innings of shutout ball.
The offense needed the relievers assistance tonight when the Royals muddled through the middle innings. The bats seemed to wake up in the ninth inning. With two outs in the ninth inning, Salvador Perez completed a rare feat, well for the Royals anyway as he blasted a three-run homer to left field.
Salvador Perez had quite the day. He went 2-5 at the dish, and picked Kevin Kiermaier off of first base.
Things got even better in the ninth inning. In the bottom half of the inning, Alex Gordon entered the game as a defensive substitution for Raul Ibanez. This looks promising for Kansas City. Gordon said specifically that he could not swing a bat, so it must not be as serious as everyone, myself included, thought.
The Royals were down, but not out. I was happy that Kansas City could trudge to victory today. Because the Dodgers could do us no favors, we still sit 4.5 games back of the Detroit Tigers who will travel to Kauffman Stadium in a battle for first place.