Royals Roll to an Easy Opening Day Victory
Yes, it was cold. Yes, it was also wet. Yes, the sun didn’t make an appearance until the game’s conclusion. None of that matters though. Opening Day, rain or shine, is a good time for everyone even if you didn’t make it out to the ballpark. The Royals decided that they would change things up this year. Aside from batting Mike Moustakas second, which is absolutely flabbergasting, Kansas City won the season opener for the first time since 2008 when Gil Meche was the starter. After a slew of pre-game activities, which included a presentation of the AL Pennant and rings, your American League Champions took the field to begin their defense of the pennant, and hopefully bring back a World Series trophy, which they rightfully deserve.
Both teams were relatively quiet early in the game. A clutch RBI-double by Salvador Perez scored newcomer, Kendrys Morales, to give the Royals a 1-0 edge. Still holding the Sox to no runs, Kansas City came to bat again in the third inning and plated two men on a Lorenzo Cain RBI-single. Cain eventually came around to score to make the game 3-0. A Mike Moustakas solo homer over the left field wall made it a 4-0 KC advantage. Tensions escalated after Jeff Samardzija nailed the next batter, and it appeared that benches would clear. The umpires quickly intervened, and warned both teams. Things would stay quiet until the seventh inning, which would prove to be an eventful one for both teams.
Right after a Jose Abreu leadoff homer to get the Sox on the board, Yordano Ventura went down awkwardly grabbing his arm. The entire stadium fell silent. That is, except for probably Dayton Moore who was assumably crying and cursing in a VIP suite after his ace for the next five seasons went down with a phantom arm injury. Ventura is fine after being checked out. It was just cramps, and it has yet to be determined whether he will miss his next start.
After an injury scare, Kansas City busted out for five runs in the bottom of the seventh. After allowing a leadoff walk to Alcides Escobar, Dan Jennings was the new Sox pitcher. Jennings intentionally walked Kendrys Morales to load the bases for Alex Gordon. Gordon made them pay, delivering a two RBI-single. Alex Rios then belted a three-run homer to put the Royals up 9-1. Welcome to Kansas City, Mr. Rios. Eric Hosmer tacked on an RBI-single of his own in the bottom of the eighth, and the Royals were on their way to an Opening Day victory.
Ned Yost decided he would shake up the lineup with one, yet very noticeable change: Mike Moustakas, the team’s worst hitter in 2014, moved up to the second spot in the lineup. This was a move that would make Yost look like a genius if it worked, or an idiot if it didn’t. Needless to say, it worked. Moose was 2-3 with a home run and a walk. The one man in the lineup that didn’t deliver, unlike everyone else, was Omar Infante. Infante was 0-4 and left four guys on base.
It was a great team win for the Boys in Blue today. Almost everyone chipped in with a hit. Great defense was displayed. Most of all, it was backed by four dominant pitchers who looked like they were all in control. They can’t win all 162, but if they play like a team for all of them, they’ll go far. They have the talent, the experience, and now they know they can do it. Kansas City is now a force to be reckoned with in the AL Central.