The Kansas City Royals (3-3) beat the Tampa Bay Rays (4-4) on Monday, 4-2, but may have lost their second baseman Omar Infante indefinitely. Omar Infante was hit in the jaw by Heath Bell in 7th inning. The loss of their second baseman could be huge as Kansas City really doesn’t have a suitable replacement.
On the Mound
Once again, Jason Vargas was marvelous. He went 8 plus innings, and gave up just one run one on 4 hits. He struck out 2 and walked one. In all reality, he should not have been allowed out of the dugout in the 9th. He was well over 100 pitches, and the Royals had a 4-run lead.
Instead, Yost let Vargas start the 9th, where he promptly surrendered a lead-off home run to Ben Zobrist. Then Yost had to waste what should have been a night off for Greg Holland. The closer came in, wasn’t sharp, and gave up a run of his own, due partly though to Danny Valencia‘s inability to turn a double play at second base.
Still, Vargas was terrific, pitching to contact, allowing his big ball park and outstanding defense do his work for him. He looked comfortable, and at home on the mound.
At the Plate
In the bottom of the 6th, with the Royals clinging to that 1-0 lead, Alcides Escobar roped a base loaded double to drive in three runs.
The Royals only had 8 hits but they made them count in this one, giving Vargas a win in his Kauffman Stadium debut.
This and That
Omar Infante’s loss, if it is for more than a few games, will be huge. The brief look we got of Valencia playing second was not comforting. Kansas City will have to bring up either Johnny Giavotella or Christian Colon, neither of which have any success at the major league level.
What’s worse, is that Kansas City has no one to take over the number 2 slot in the batting line up. Yost loves to slide Escobar in there, but the shortstop is very ill suited for that spot with a .294 career OBP.
Mike Moustakas went hitless again, though he did walk. He is 0-18 to start the season.
Norichika Aoki made a fine running basket catch in the first inning what was one of many fine defensive plays by the Royals outfield. Vargas served up 15 fly balls in Monday’s game, and the outfield, especially Lorenzo Cain, was tracking them down with grace and ease.
The Royals are still homerless on the season.
KC Kingdom Player of the Game
Again, there are a number of candidates. Cain’s defensive performance was key, Aoki had a nice game, going 2-4 with a run, and Escobar’s bases clearing double was gigantic, but Vargas was terrific, and we will go with the starting pitcher.
Rays’ starting pitcher Matt Moore left the game in the 5th inning after grimacing noticeably after two consecutive pitches. It appeared to be an elbow or forearm. On the post game show on Fox Sports Kansas City, the guys talked about it being the elbow. That could be very costly for the Rays if Moore was to miss the season with surgery.
Tampa produced just three hits in the first 8 innings before scratching out 3 more in the 9th, including Zobrist’s bomb that chased Vargas. Evan Longoria had 3 of the hits, Zobrist two, and Matt Joyce the other.
Finally, Kansas City Royals will fans will get to see rookie Yordano Ventura make his 2014 debut. His start last week was rained out but he will go against Tampa Tuesday night. The Rays will pitch Chris Archer (1-0, 3.00 ERA). Archer went 6 inning sin his first start, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, while striking out 7 and walking just 2.
|Desmond Jennings CF||3||0||0||0||1||1||.276||.831|
|Wil Myers RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||.185||.526|
|Ben Zobrist 2B||4||1||2||1||0||0||.286||.787|
|Evan Longoria 3B||4||0||3||0||0||0||.414||1.121|
|Logan Forsythe DH||4||1||0||0||0||0||.150||.390|
|James Loney 1B||4||0||0||0||0||0||.217||.626|
|Sean Rodriguez LF||3||0||0||0||0||0||.200||.873|
|Matthew Joyce PH||1||0||1||1||0||0||.444||1.244|
|Ryan Hanigan C||3||0||0||0||0||0||.294||.929|
|David DeJesus PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||.235||.821|
|Yunel Escobar SS||3||0||0||0||0||0||.185||.538|
|Matt Moore P|
|Cesar Ramos P|
|Heath Bell P|
|Norichika Aoki RF||4||1||2||0||0||1||.300||.891|
|Omar Infante 2B||2||0||1||0||1||0||.348||.771|
|Danny Valencia PR-2B||0||0||0||0||0||0||.250||.500|
|Eric Hosmer 1B||4||0||1||1||0||0||.273||.724|
|Billy Butler DH||4||0||0||0||0||1||.200||.520|
|Alex Gordon LF||4||1||1||0||0||0||.261||.628|
|Salvador Perez C||2||1||1||0||2||0||.444||1.250|
|Mike Moustakas 3B||3||0||0||0||1||2||.000||.143|
|Lorenzo Cain CF||4||1||1||0||0||1||.318||.636|
|Alcides Escobar SS||3||0||1||3||0||0||.100||.293|
|Matt Moore, L (0-2)||4.1||4||1||1||2||2||0||2.70||74||43|
|Jason Vargas, W (1-0)||8||4||1||1||1||2||1||1.20||110||74|
|Greg Holland, S (3)||1||2||1||1||0||1||0||3.00||18||11|