April 17, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Greg Holland (56) pitches in the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. The Royals won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Recap: Doubleheader Sweep; 3 HR In 1 Game; Greg Holland Saves 2

The Kansas City Royals (10-7) and the Boston Red Sox treated fans to three exciting games over the weekend. Boston won the emotional match-up on Saturday with late heroics from Daniel Nava, but the Royals bounced to get the rare doubleheader sweep on Sunday, winning the games 4-2 and 5-4. The Royals are in first place in the AL Central by one game over Minnesota Twins.

On the Mound

Ervin Santana (2-1) was terrific in the afternoon game, going 7 frames, allowing 2 runs on just 6 hits and no walks. He struck out 7 on the day. His ERA now stands at 2.48. Greg Holland closed it out for the save with perfect 9th. In game two, Jeremy Guthrie took the bump and had a little bit rougher time of things. He went 6, giving up 4 runs on 8 hits and 4 walks. He only struck out 2 and the Red Sox hit him pretty hard. Half of the hits against him were of the extra base variety. Guthrie seemed to be bothered a little bit by a tight strike zone. After Luke Hochevar survived an inning, Kelvin Herrera threw 2 of his own, not allowing a run while striking out three. He would eventually earn the victory. Holland again pitched a perfect 9th for his second save of the day. Holland struck out 5 in his 2 innings of work.

At the Plate

In game one, Alcides Escobar hit his second round tripper of the year and Salvador Perez had a 2-run single in the 4th. In the night cap, Alex Gordon had the big night, getting three hits, including a double and his first home run of the season. He had a RBI and scored 3 times. Billy Butler and George Kottaras, making his first start of the year, also homered as the Royals had their biggest power day of the season thus far.

This and That

The last time a Royal had 2 saves in one day was Roberto Hernandez in 2002.

Until his home run in the 8th, Butler had one game with 7 RBI but had only driven in 4 all of the other games. Now that number is at 5.

Mike Moustakas‘ struggles continued in the twin bill. He went 1-8 on the day, his lone hit was a bloop to right. His average is down to .158.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

In game one, Santana’s strong outing edged out Escobar and Perez for the POG. In game two, Gordon’s big night earns him the honors for the third time this season.

 

The Red Sox

In the late game, rookie Allen Webster more than held his own, going 6 innings, surrendering 2 earned runs, on 5 hits and just one walk. He struck out 5 in his debut. His biggest hiccup came in the 5th when he gave up gopher balls to Kottaras and Gordon. David Ortiz followed his strong season debut on Saturday with 3 hits in the early game. Mike Napoli was the hitting star int he night cap with 3 hits, including a home run, 2 RBI, and a run.

Up Next

The Royals are off tomorrow (again). They travel to Detroit on Tuesday where Wade Davis (2-0) faces former Missouri Tiger Max Scherzer (1-0) at 6:08 CDT. There will be no recap on Tuesday. It is an early season series but it is a big one for the Royals. They are on a mission to prove to everyone, including themselves, that Kansas City can challenge the Tigers for the AL Central. Winning at least 2 games in Detroit this week would go along way toward establishing the Royals as a team that is for real.

AL Central Notes

Minnesota Twins (8-7): Josh Willingham doubled in the 7th with the bases loaded to clear the bags and to help the Twins to a 5-3 victory over the White Sox. Aaron Hicks got his 3rd hit of the year to raise his average to .059.

Detroit Tigers (9-9 ): Mark Trumbo hit a walk off home run against Phil Coke in the 13th to hand the Tigers their 4th straight loss. Prince Fielder homered in the game for Detroit.

Cleveland Indians (7-10): Mark Reynolds blasted his 7th round tripper of the season in the 5-4 win over the Astros. Carlos Santana, Yan Gomes, and Drew Stubbs also homed for the Indians.

Chicago White Sox (7-11): Adam Dunn hit his 3rd homer of the season in the loss tot he Twins but he is still only batting .108 on the year. Gavin Floyd pitched well int he loss, only giving up 1 run in 6 innings.

 

Tags: Alex Gordon Boston Red Sox Greg Holland Kansas City Royals

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