Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Alcides Escobar’s clutch double powers Royals 4-2 victory


Defensive wizard Alcides Escobar‘s two-out double in the 7th inning drove in two runs to break a 2-2 tie. The Kansas City bullpen hung on to the lead to post a 4-2 victory Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium. For the second night in a row, the Kansas City Royals have came through with a late rally to defeat the Blue Jays.

Let’s just hope the Royals can keep the streak going in the final game of the series on Thursday.

On the Mound

Yordano Ventura had another strong start. He allowed no runs in 5 innings, only 2 hits, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts.

Royals manager Ned Yost pulled Ventura early because the rookie struggled with his command and had already piled up 92 pitches. Yost has shown admirable caution with the soon-to-be 23-year-old Ventura’s pitch count, including today’s decision to yank Ventura after five.

Danny Duffy opened the sixth by hitting Melky Cabrera and a walk to Jose Bautista, before Yost turned to Aaron Crow. This is the second time in a row that Duffy has failed to get an out after coming in from the pen.

While Crow did manage to escape the 6th without allowing an earned run to keep his perfect 0.00 ERA intact, he allowed both inhereted runners to score—which tied the game.

Kelvin Herrera held the Jays scoreless in the 7th and eared the win after Escobar’s double put the Royals ahead 4-2.

Wade Davis struck out the side in the 8th, but had to work out of a bases loaded situation with two outs after giving up a single and two walks. Greg Holland closed the door in the 9th for his 7th save this season.

At the Plate

The Kansas City Royals only managed 6 hits and one walk Wednesday night. Yet, five of their 6 hits were doubles, which allowed them to score 4 runs.

Eric Hosmer was the only Royal with more than one hit. Hosmer’s two doubles give him 9 on the year, but he is still looking for his first home run of 2014.

Escobar’s 7th inning double drove in Jimmy Paredes from 3rd and Salvador Perez from 1st base. His .286 average and respectable .761 OPS for a shortstop has answered critics who called him the worst hitting regular position player in the 2013 season.

While Salvador Perez went 0-2, he drew a walk and scored a run. Perez has shown increased patience at the plate in the first month of the season. His 10 walks in April are easily the most he has drawn in a single month and is nearly half as many as his 21 all of last season.

This and That

The Kansas City Royals continued their streak of wins while scoring 4 runs or more, running their season record to 14-0 under these circumstances. The Royals are 0-12 when scoring less than 4 runs.

Jimmy Paredes entered the game in the bottom of the 7th as a pinch runner for Billy Butler. With the game tied, Paredes stole both 2nd and 3rd. While Escobar’s double made these base-running heroics moot, Paredes has made an admirable substitute for Jarrod Dyson as the team’s pinch base-runner while Dyson subs for the injured Lorenzo Cain in centerfield.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Alcides Escobar‘s clutch double in the 7th makes him KC Kingdom’s Player of the Game.

Ned Yost told ESPN, “”He’s been very consistent. He’s always been an important part of our club because of his defense. He saves runs in the field. But when you add offense to that, he becomes a very special player.”

The Blue Jays

The Blue Jays had a frustrating day at the plate with 7 hits and 6 walks, yet scoring only 2 runs despite getting 13 men on base. Former Royal Melky Cabrera left the game after Danny Duffy hit his right thigh in the 6th inning. Ex-Royal Chris Getz has filled in at second for his first two games of the season after getting recalled from AAA Buffalo to replace the struggling Ryan Goins.

Up Next

The Royals send Jeremy Guthrie (2-1, 4.22 ERA) to the mound Thursday night to get the sweep against Mark Buehrle (4-1, 2.16 ERA) for Toronto. Gametime is 7:10 PM CST at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

Box

Blue Jays Batting AB R H RBI BB SO BA OPS
Jose Reyes SS 4 0 0 0 1 2 .200 .583
Melky Cabrera LF 2 0 0 0 0 0 .342 .935
   Jonathan Diaz PR-LF 1 1 0 0 0 1 .176 .488
   Josh Thole PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 .478 1.022
Jose Bautista RF 4 1 1 0 1 1 .293 1.065
Edwin Encarnacion 1B 4 0 2 1 1 0 .250 .747
Dioner Navarro C 5 0 1 0 0 2 .311 .729
Juan Francisco 3B 2 0 1 1 2 1 .257 .852
Colby Rasmus CF 4 0 0 0 0 2 .194 .630
Moises Sierra DH 4 0 0 0 0 2 .059 .145
Chris Getz 2B 3 0 2 0 1 0 .333 .929
Team Totals 34 2 7 2 6 11 .206 .606
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/1/2014.
2B: C Getz (1, off K Herrera); E Encarnacion (9, off G Holland).
HBP: M Cabrera (1, by D Duffy).
TB: C Getz 3; E Encarnacion 3; J Francisco; D Navarro; J Bautista.
RBI: E Encarnacion (15); J Francisco (4).
Team LOB: 12.
With RISP: 2 for 14.
 Royals Batting AB R H RBI BB SO BA OPS
Nori Aoki RF 4 1 1 0 0 0 .284 .709
Omar Infante 2B 3 1 1 0 0 0 .277 .741
Eric Hosmer 1B 3 0 2 2 0 0 .301 .742
Billy Butler DH 3 0 1 0 0 1 .224 .540
   Jimmy Paredes PR-DH 1 1 0 0 0 0 .000 .000
Alex Gordon LF 3 0 0 0 0 0 .270 .715
Salvador Perez C 2 1 0 0 1 1 .245 .722
Mike Moustakas 3B 3 0 0 0 0 1 .149 .552
Alcides Escobar SS 3 0 1 2 0 0 .287 .761
Jarrod Dyson CF 3 0 0 0 0 2 .343 .704
Team Totals 28 4 6 4 1 5 .214 .626
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/1/2014.
2B: A Escobar (8, off D Hutchison); N Aoki (5, off D Hutchison); E Hosmer 2 (9, 1 off T Redmond, 1 off D Hutchison); O Infante (2, off D Hutchison).
SF: E Hosmer (1, off D Hutchison).
SH: O Infante (2, off D Hutchison).
TB: E Hosmer 4; A Escobar 2; N Aoki 2; O Infante 2; B Butler.
RBI: E Hosmer 2 (9); A Escobar 2 (10).
2-out RBI: A Escobar 2.
Team LOB: 3.
With RISP: 2 for 8.
Baserunning
SB: J Paredes 2 (2, 3rd base off D Hutchison/D Navarro, 2nd base off D Hutchison/D Navarro).
Blue Jays Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Pit Str
Drew Hutchison, L (1-2) 7 5 4 4 1 5 0 3.82 97 62
Todd Redmond 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2.45 20 15
Team Totals 8 6 4 4 1 5 0 4.50 117 77
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/1/2014.
Royals Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Pit Str
Yordano Ventura 5 2 0 0 2 4 0 1.50 92 57
Danny Duffy 0 0 2 2 1 0 0 2.16 6 1
Aaron Crow, BS (2) 1 2 0 0 0 3 0 0.00 19 14
Kelvin Herrera, W (1-1) 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 2.53 21 14
Wade Davis, H (4) 1 1 0 0 2 3 0 2.92 24 13
Greg Holland, S (7) 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2.70 16 10
Team Totals 9 7 2 2 6 11 0 2.00 178 109
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/1/2014.
D Duffy faced 2 batters in the 6th inning.
Balks: D Hutchison (1).
WP: None.
HBP: D Duffy (2; M Cabrera).
IBB: None.
Pickoffs: None.

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Tags: Alcides Escobar Danny Duffy Eric Hosmer Featured Kansas City Royals Kelvin Herrera Popular Yordano Ventura