An eight-run sixth inning propelled the Royals to their eighth win in their last nine games. They now sit five game behind division leading Detroit Tigers and only two games under .500 with a 31-33 record.
On the Mound
Ervin Santana came into the game with a career 6.84 ERA at Tropicana Field so, naturally, he went 7 2/3 innings allowing just one unearned run, winning his second straight start. Santana allowed just five base runners, none via the walk, and struck out three.
J.C. Gutierrez came in for mop-up duty and did not allow a run in 1 1/3 innings.
At the Plate
Elliot Johnson singled and hit a three-run homer in Kansas City’s eight-run sixth inning explosion. It was his second home run of the season and both have come against his former team.
Eric Hosmer hit his second home run of the season in the seventh inning off Jake Odorizzi. Even though the homer went to left center field they still counted the homer.
Alex Gordon may have made a move to snap out of his funk by going 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.
Everybody in the starting lineup scored a run.
This and That
– KC has outscored opponents 47-23 in June.
– Santana has gone at least 7 innings in 10 of his 13 starts this season. He has gone six innings or more in every start.
– Tampa Bay had homered in four-straight games and in five of six games before going homerless on Thursday night.
KC Kingdom Player of the Game
Johnson and Hosmer had solid games for KC in the offensive explosion, but it is hard to look past Santana’s performance and not make him the player of the game.
- James Shields – 6
- Alex Gordon – 9
- Wade Davis – 3
- Lorenzo Cain – 4.5
- Luis Mendoza – 3
- Billy Butler – 5
- Ervin Santana – 5
- Miguel Tejada - 3
- Jeremy Guthrie -3
- Eric Hosmer - 3.5
- Chris Getz
- Mike Moustakas - 3
- Aaron Crow
- Jarrod Dyson
- David Lough – 3
- Alcides Escobar – 2
- J.C. Gutierrez
- Jeff Francoeur
- Bruce Chen
- Salvador Perez – 2
Jake Odorizzi, who was involved in the trade that sent James Shields to Kansas City, pitched 3 1/3 inning for Tampa on Thursday night, allowing four hits and two runs with two walks and four strikeouts. Hosmer homered off of him in the seventh. It took Odorizzi 68 pitches to get through 10 outs.
Hellickson suffered his first loss since April 25. He struggled through May, posting a 6.69 ERA in six start, but appeared to be turning things around in June (2.45 ERA in two starts, both wins).
Game two of the series continues tonight in Tampa at 6:10 p.m. Luis Mendoza (1-3, 4.19) faces off against Matt Moore (8-2, 3.78).
AL Central Notes
Detroit Tigers (36-28): Detroit was idle on Thursday. They’ll being a series against Minnesota tonight.
Cleveland Indians (32-33): The Indians were idle on Thursday. They being a series tonight against Washington.
Minnesota Twins (29-34): Jared Burton allowed two runs in the eighth to blow a 2-1 lead to the Philadelphia Phillies, who went on to win 3-2. The loss prevented the Twins from pulling off the sweep. They start a three-game series tonight against Detroit.
Chicago White Sox (28-35): Chicago was idle Thursday night. They start a series against Houston tonight.