Kansas City put up 3, two-out runs after the Royals pulled starter James Shields while trailing 2-1 in the 6th. The comeback made a winner of Shields, who is now 12-6 on the season.
The Royals move to 15 games over .500 at 70-55. The Royals remain 2 games ahead of Detroit in the A.L. Central after the Tiger rallied to win 8-6 in 10 innings over Tampa Bay. Kansas City also hold a 2-game lead over the Mariners for the 2nd wild card.
On the Mound
James Shields went a solid 6.0 innings, allowing 9 hits, 1 walk, and 2 earned runs with 6 strikeouts. He allowed a solo home run to Nolan Arenado (13) that gave Colorado a 2-1 lead. Shields left the game for a pinch hitter in the 6th while still trailing, but the Royals came back to take the lead 4-2 with a 3-run 7th.
Kelvin Herrera came on in the 7th and pitched a scoreless inning despite opening the frame with 2 consecutive walks. Mike Moustakas turned a nice double play to turn around the inning, before Herrera recorded the final out on a broken bat grounder.
Wade Davis pitched a clean 8th inning with 2 strikeouts.
Francisley Bueno retired the first batter on a fly ball, but then gave up a single, and a 2-run home run on a ball crushed by Drew Stubbs (13) over the right field fence. Bueno then retired the next hitter, but catcher Salvador Perez made an error on dribbler that should have ended the game to put a runner on 2nd with 2 outs.
Greg Holland came in to retire the final batter on a fly ball to right to earn his 39th save.
At the Plate
Ned Yost made a nice call pulling James Shields for pinch hitter Josh Willingham with 2-outs in the 6th. The Royals pulled off a 2-out rally to score 3 runs when Willingham hit a single, followed by a walk to Aoki and back-to-back doubles by Omar Infante and Salvador Perez.
Yost’s decision turned a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead, which is almost insurmountable with the bullpen Yellow Brick Road of Herrera, Davis, and Holland.
Infante was the big dog on the day, going 4 for 5, with a single, 3 doubles, 1 run scored, and 4 RBI’s.
The only other Royal with more than 1 hit was Mike Moustakas, who went 2 for 4 with 2 singles and 1 run scored.
All 7 of the Royals runs came with 2 outs. Talk about clutch hitting—though sabermetric analysis attributes “clutch” to mere variance.
This and That
Nori Aoki made bad play by attempting to steal 3rd with 2-on and 2-out to end the Royals 5th inning. Aoki was initially called safe, but Colorado successfully challenged the play to get the out.
Kelvin Herrera has thrown 20.1 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run.
The Royals are 15 games over .500 for the first time since August of 1994.
KC Kingdom Player of the Game
Omar Infante is the clear choice with 3 doubles and 4 RBI’s.
- Josh Willingham – 2
- Billy Butler – 8
- Jason Frasor
- Francisley Bueno
- Danny Valencia
- Christian Colon
- Raul Ibanez
- Jarrod Dyson – 2
- Lorenzo Cain – 6
- Johnny Giavotella
- Wade Davis
- Norichika Aoki – 6
- Salvador Perez – 6
- Jeremy Guthrie – 3
- Jason Vargas – 7
- Alex Gordon – 11
- Bruce Chen – 5
- James Shields – 10
- Yordano Ventura – 5
- Danny Duffy – 7
- Omar Infante – 5
- Mike Moustakas – 9
- Alcides Escobar – 6
- Eric Hosmer – 12
- Michael Mariot
- Erik Kratz
3B Nolan Arenado went 3 for 4, with 2 singles, a home run (13), 1 walk, 1 run scored, and 1 RBI.
The Royals will finish their quick, 2-game series in Colorado on Wednesday night. Kansas City will send Danny Duffy (8-10, 2.60 ERA) to the mound against ex-Royal Jorge De La Rosa (12-8. 4.32 ERA). Game time is 7:40 PM CST at Coors Field in Colorado.