It was all giddiness with the Kansas City Royals (37-40) on Friday night as they blasted their way to a 9-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins (35-41) by knocking out four long balls in support of James Shields.
On the Mound
James Shields, who had not been given enough support for a win since late April, started out strong by retiring the first 7 batters he faced. He labored through the next 12 outs, allowing 3 runs on 8 hits. He walked none and struck out 5 on the night. Four relievers combined for 2.2 scoreless frames.
At the Plate
It was a exciting and much needed game at the plate for the Royals. Kansas City banged out 4 home runs for the first time all year. It was great seeing the likes of Billy Butler, Mike Moustakas, and Eric Hosmer power up. Hosmer broke out of a slump with a 3-4 night with 2 dingers, 3 runs, and 3 RBI. Butler also had 3 hits on the night.
It was the first game since June 13th that the Royals scored 9 or more runs, only the second time since May 15th, and only the 8th game all season.
This and That
Friday marked the first time all season James Shields was removed from a game in the middle of an inning.
The Royals passed the Miami Marlins last night in home runs. Kansas City has now hit 47 homers; the Marlins have hit only 45. The Royals are still 22 home runs behind the Twins in the American League, which is quite the distance between 14th place and 15th place.
J.C.Gutierrez has an ERA of 2.92 and a 1.216. He has 17 strikeouts to just 7 walks in 24.2 innings. Better than you thought, huh?
KC Kingdom Player of the Game
This is more like it – multiple choices for POG. Billy Butler’s three-run homer got the Royals going but Eric Hosmer banged out 2 long balls gets him the nod. Man, it was awesome to consider more than one candidate.
- James Shields – 7
- Alex Gordon – 10
- Wade Davis – 4
- Lorenzo Cain – 5
- Luis Mendoza – 3
- Billy Butler – 6
- Ervin Santana – 6
- Miguel Tejada - 3
- Jeremy Guthrie -3
- Eric Hosmer - 7
- Chris Getz
- Mike Moustakas - 3
- Aaron Crow
- Jarrod Dyson - 2
- David Lough – 4
- Alcides Escobar – 3
- J.C. Gutierrez
- Jeff Francoeur
- Bruce Chen
- Salvador Perez – 4
P.J. Walters took the brunt of the Royals’ breakout night. He got pounded for 6 runs on 6 hits over 3 innings. Clete Thomas hit his second home run off the season. Thomas, Justin Morneau, and Brian Dozier each had 2 hits on the night.
Wade Davis (4-5, 4.96 ERA) will try to help the Royals get a little winning streak going at 3:10 on Saturday. Former Missouri Tiger Kyle Gibson will make his major league debut this afternoon against Kansas City.
AL Central Notes
Detroit Tigers (43-35): Max Scherzer became the first pitcher since Roger Clemens in 1986 to start a season 12-0. He went 7, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits. He struck out 9 in the 6-3 in over the Rays. Miguel Cabrera went 4-4 with 2 home runs, 3 runs, and 4 RBI. Miggy is now hitting .377 with a 1.146 OPS. He also has 24 homers, and 81 RBI.
Cleveland Indians (42-38): It was an impressive day for the Indians’ offense. In a double header against the White Sox, Cleveland scored 28 on 33 hits. In game one, only Mark Reynolds didn’t have more than 1 hit but he had 2 in game two. Eleven different batters had a multiple hit game for the Indians in the two games. Their pitching staff did give up 18 runs.
Chicago White Sox (32-45): The Sox have struggled to score runs all season, so it would have been hard to imagine that they could score 18 runs in one day and lose two games. Chicago had 5 pitchers give up 4 or more runs on the day. Four of those five pitchers threw less than 3 innings. It was not a good day for the White Sox pitchers.