Guthrie, Offense Leads Royals Over Sox
Believe it or not, Ned Yost's lineup of desperation worked, and Yost made me eat my words (http://royalsblue.com/?p=1704). I am completely okay with that.
The offense tonight exploded for seven runs, and left the Kansas City fan base with a little bit of hope. Alcides Escobar wasted no time in the bottom of the first with a leadoff double. Nori Aoki then singled him in, and later scored on an errant pickoff attempt by Christian Vazquez. The Royals scored three more runs in the fourth inning with RBIs from Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon, and Salvador Perez. The final two runs would come in the eighth inning with RBIs from Gordon and Omar Infante.
Omar Infante, while being in a bit slump here recently was 3-4 today with two RBIs. Interestingly, when not batting first or second in the lineup this year, Infante is batting .281. When batting first or second, he is batting .251. It's almost like that's where he belongs. I don't know.... It's just something to chew on. I still think that Infante needs a break to nurse his sore arm, but maybe things are starting to turn around for Omar.
Let's talk defense now: It's not good. Mike Moustakas has made an error in back-to-back games, and prompted fans to believe that maybe he needs a mental break, but what some may fail to realize is that Moose is the only third baseman we've got right now.
Moustakas' error also led to the lone Sox run. Jeremy Guthrie was lights out tonight after a disappointing start on Monday after going just 2 2/3 innings and allowing six earned runs. Tonight's start would be as good as I've seen Guts in a long time: Eight innings, no earned runs, three hits, and two strikeouts. There was a different look to Guthrie tonight than in previous starts, but I can't quite place my finger on it.
The last inning of the ballgame would belong to Brandon Finnegan. Finnegan matched Guthrie in strikeouts tonight, and also allowed his first base runner in three appearances. It might be early, but Finnegan is already showing why he was a first round draft pick (a good one this time).
The bad news tonight is that Detroit lost, and for now are in first place by half a game. Detroit will finish their series with Cleveland tomorrow, and then face the Twins for three, and head to Kansas City for the final meeting of 2014.
The Boys in Blue will finish the series with Boston, and then battle the Sox for three at home. The Royals need to win tomorrow and also take two out of three from the other Sox in order to remain in the postseason mix. With tonight's win, the Royals guaranteed that they will finish with at least a .500 record in back-to-back seasons even if they lose out.