Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Omar Infante’s Grand Slam drives Royals to Win


The Kanas City Royals broke out of their 1-6 skid with an 8-6 victory over the Los Angeles Angels powered by Omar Infante‘s 3rd inning grand slam Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

The win came despite surrendering home runs to Mike Trout in the first inning and C.J. Cron in the 2nd inning. The Royals overcame the poor start with a 7-run 3rd, while weathering a 4-run comeback by the Angels in the 5th.

The win lifts Kansas City to 41-38. The Royals pulled to within 3.5 games of division-leading Detroit, who lost to the Astros. The loss snapped Detroit’s 7-game winning streak.

On the Mound

The normally-reliable Jason Vargas had a rough night at the ballpark. Despite Kansas City hitters staking him to a 8-2 lead, Vargas could not survive through the 5th inning to notch the win. Vargas went 4.0 innings, allowing 9 hits, 0 walks, 6 earned runs with 1 strikeout. The Angels mashed 3 home runs against him, including 2 by C.J. Cron.

Mike Mariot entered in the 5th inning with the bases-loaded, no outs, and the score 8-5. He did a fabulous job escaping the situation allowing only one run to score on a fly out to Alex Gordon. He pitched 1.1 innings, allowing 1 hit, 1 walk, and nailing down one strikeout.

Kelvin Herrera came on in the 6th with runners at 1st and 3rd with one out after Oman Infante’s error. Herrera struck out Chris Iannetta and then induced pinch hitter Kole Calhoun into a ground out to escape the inning without damage. Herrera then pitched a clean 7th inning, striking out 2. Overall, he went 1.2 innings, allowing 0 hits, 0 walks, and piling up 3 strikeouts.

Wade Davis relieved Herrera in the 8th and returned to his normal, dominant self with a clean inning finished off with 2 strikeouts.

Greg Holland earned his 23rd save by striking out the side in the 9th.

At the Plate

What a day. The Royals slammed 13 hits, drew 1 walk, and scored 8 runs, including a 7-run rally in the 3rd.

Omar Infante struck the big blow with his first career grand slam that capped the scoring in the 3rd. Infante went 1-4, with his home run (5), 1 run scored, and 4 RBI’s.

Lorenzo Cain went 3-5 from the leadoff spot, with a triple, 2 singles, 2 runs scored, and 1 RBI. He’s done a good job since moving to the top of the lineup 3 games ago. Cain is now hitting .317/.355/.436 for the season.

Salvador Perez continues to hit well going 3-4 with 3 singles, and 1 run scored.

Both Billy Butler (2-4) and Alcides Escobar (2-3) chipped in for 2 hits apiece, including doubles by both players. Escobar also added 2 stolen bases to run his total to 20 on the year.

This and That

Mike Trout’s 1st inning bomb was estimated by ESPN to have travelled 498-feet. The home run is not a record for Kauffman Stadium, because ESPN used projected distance based on trajectory rather than actual distance travelled—so it was still less than shots by Johnny Bench an Bo Jackson in the past.

Jason Vargas surrendered 6 straight hits to open the 5th inning before manager Ned Yost pulled the plug.

Alex Gordon is mired in an 0-16 slump since his last hit June 22 against Seattle. The skid has caused his batting average to drop to .277 from .291.

Mike Mariot earned his first big league win (1-0) with his strong performance in relief of Jason Vargas.

The Angels came into Friday’s game on a 6-game winning streak.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

While I am tempted to go with Lorenzo Cain for his 3 hits and strong play in the field. (as always), I have to give it up for Omar Infante’s key grand slam. It looked like piling on in the 3rd inning, but the Royals needed every run to hold off the Angels.

The Angels

Mike Trout is again showing why people consider him the best player in the game. His 498-foot bomb to centerfield was a thing of beauty, even if it came from an opposing player. Trout went 2-4, with 1 run scored and 1 RBI on the night.

C.J. Cron also hit a massive shot in the 2nd, that went an estimated 436 feet to left-center. He followed up that dinger with another bomb in the 5th that helped chase Jason Vargas. Cron went 2-4, with 2 home runs, 2 runs scored, and 3 RBI’s.

Up Next

The Angels and Royals continue their 3-game series in Kansas City. The Royals will send Yordano Ventura (5-6, 3.20 ERA) to the mound against hard-luck Hector Santiago (0-7, 4.41 ERA) for Los Angeles. Game time is 1:10 CST at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

Box

Angels Batting AB R H RBI BB SO PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Collin Cowgill RF 3 0 1 0 0 0 3 .289 .362 .434 .796
   Kole Calhoun PH-RF 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 .270 .328 .459 .787
Mike Trout CF 4 1 2 1 0 1 4 .313 .403 .616 1.019
Albert Pujols 1B 3 0 0 1 0 0 4 .259 .315 .472 .787
Josh Hamilton LF 4 0 1 0 0 1 4 .319 .392 .457 .849
Howie Kendrick 2B 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 .275 .336 .380 .717
Erick Aybar SS 3 1 1 0 1 1 4 .284 .325 .425 .750
C.J. Cron DH 4 2 2 3 0 2 4 .301 .328 .577 .905
David Freese 3B 4 1 1 0 0 2 4 .228 .304 .287 .591
Chris Iannetta C 3 1 1 1 0 1 3 .253 .365 .413 .779
   Hank Conger PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .237 .323 .381 .705
Team Totals 35 6 9 6 1 10 37 .257 .270 .543 .813

2B: D Freese (6, off J Vargas).
HR: M Trout (18, off J Vargas, 1st inn, 0 on, 1 out to Deep CF); C Cron 2 (8, 2 off J Vargas, 2nd inn, 0 on, 2 outs to Deep LF-CF; 5th inn, 1 on, 0 outs to Deep RF).
SF: A Pujols (5, off M Mariot).
TB: C Cron 8; M Trout 5; D Freese 2; E Aybar; C Iannetta; C Cowgill; J Hamilton.
GIDP: H Kendrick (8).
RBI: C Cron 3 (22); A Pujols (47); M Trout (59); C Iannetta (21).
2-out RBI: C Cron.
Team LOB: 4.
With RISP: 2 for 8.
Fielding
E: D Freese (1).

Royals Batting AB R H RBI BB SO PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Lorenzo Cain RF 5 2 3 1 0 0 5 .317 .355 .436 .790
Eric Hosmer 1B 5 1 1 0 0 0 5 .249 .291 .351 .641
Billy Butler DH 4 1 2 1 1 1 5 .280 .330 .360 .690
   Pedro Ciriaco PR-DH 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .213 .229 .255 .484
Alex Gordon LF 3 0 0 1 0 0 5 .277 .357 .443 .800
Salvador Perez C 4 1 3 0 0 0 4 .288 .336 .453 .789
Omar Infante 2B 4 1 1 4 0 1 4 .247 .297 .362 .659
Mike Moustakas 3B 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 .178 .243 .356 .600
Alcides Escobar SS 3 1 2 0 0 0 4 .288 .329 .399 .728
Jarrod Dyson CF 4 1 1 0 0 0 4 .301 .350 .345 .695
Team Totals 36 8 13 7 1 2 40 .361 .400 .556 .956

2B: A Escobar (21, off M Shoemaker); B Butler (17, off C Rasmus).
3B: L Cain (2, off M Shoemaker).
HR: O Infante (5, off M Shoemaker, 3rd inn, 3 on, 1 out to Deep LF).
SF: A Gordon (2, off M Shoemaker).
HBP: A Gordon (5, by D Carpenter); A Escobar (4, by D Carpenter).
TB: L Cain 5; O Infante 4; S Perez 3; B Butler 3; A Escobar 3; E Hosmer; J Dyson.
RBI: O Infante 4 (38); A Gordon (41); L Cain (33); B Butler (34).
Team LOB: 8.
With RISP: 5 for 12.
Fielding
DP: 1. O Infante-A Escobar-E Hosmer.
PB: S Perez (4).
E: O Infante (3).
Baserunning
SB: A Escobar 2 (20, 2nd base off M Shoemaker/C Iannetta, 2nd base off D Carpenter/C Iannetta).

Angles Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Pit Str
Matt Shoemaker, L (5-2) 4 11 8 8 1 2 1 4.50 79 52
David Carpenter 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 39 26
Cory Rasmus 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 4.35 15 12
Team Totals 8 13 8 8 1 2 1 9.00 133 90
Royals Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Pit Str
Jason Vargas 4 9 6 6 0 1 3 3.53 63 44
Michael Mariot, W (1-0) 1.1 0 0 0 1 1 0 6.08 29 16
Kelvin Herrera, H (6) 1.2 0 0 0 0 3 0 2.36 19 14
Wade Davis, H (15) 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 1.30 15 9
Greg Holland, S (23) 1 0 0 0 0 3 0 2.05 16 10
Team Totals 9 9 6 6 1 10 3 6.00 142 93

Balks: None.
WP: None.
HBP: D Carpenter 2 (2; A Gordon, A Escobar).
IBB: None.
Pickoffs: None.

Tags: Featured Jason Vargas Kansas City Royals Lorenzo Cain Mike Trout Omar Infante Popular