If you didn’t think it could get any crazier than the last two nights for the If you didn’t think it could get any crazier than the last two nights for the

Royals win 4th straight, beat Cards 3-2 in wild finish


If you didn’t think it could get any crazier than the last two nights for the Kansas City Royals…think again.

In one of the wildest endings to a baseball game I’ve ever seen, the Royals were able to pull out their 4th straight one run victory with a thrilling 3-2 win over their rivals from the other side of the state.

With 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th, the Cardinals’ Tyler Greene stole second on an errant throw by catcher Humberto Quintero, which ricocheted off shortstop Alcides Escobar and rolled to second baseman Chris Getz who threw wide left of third baseman Mike Moustakas trying to throw out Greene at third. Moustakas tracked down the ball and then threw home just in time to nail Greene for the final out.

Yeah…it’s easier to just watch it.

After back to back walk off wins to complete the Royals’ first 3-game sweep of the season and first sweep in interleague play in 3 years over the Brewers the last two nights, KC turned to the surprising Vin Mazzaro to try for the Royals’ second 4-game winning streak of the year.

Mazzaro didn’t disappoint. The righty tossed 6 shutout innings, giving up only five hits and one walk with four strikeouts on only 80 pitches to notch his third win of the season. To get that third win of the year, Mazzaro would need his struggling offense to score a few runs off Cardinals’ starter Kyle Lohse, who sported an impressive 6-1 record and 2.90 ERA coming into the game.

The Royals got on board 1-0 in the 2nd inning with a 2-out RBI infield single by Jarrod Dyson scoring Alcides Escobar from third. In the following inning, Alex Gordon doubled and this time Jeff Francoeur came through with another 2-out RBI single for the Royals to put them up 2-0. It remained 2-0 until the 7th inning when Francoeur came through again with a sacrifice fly scoring Getz from third to put Kansas City up 3-0 going into the bottom of the 7th.

Instead of Mazzaro coming back out for the bottom of the 7th, it was reliever Roman Colon, who was just recently called up from Omaha, that came out for the 7th inning with the Royals on top 3-0. Not Holland, not Crow, not Collins. Granted, Holland and Crow have had a lot of work lately, but it was a very questionable move to bring in Colon in a close game late.

Colon ended up allowing two runs on three hits in 2/3 innings to pull the Cardinals within one. Aaron Crow eventually had to come in anyways and along with Jose Mijares, threw 1 1/3 shutout innings to get to Jonathan Broxton in the 9th up 3-2.

With no outs in the bottom of the 9th, catcher Yadier Molina pulled a sharp grounder in what he thought was the hole between Moustakas and Escobar, but Alcides had other plans. Escobar, with his incredible range, dove to his right to snag the ball, then got up on his two feet and made an amazing throw to Hosmer, who snagged the one hopper just in time.

It was truly one of the greatest plays by a shortstop that I have ever seen and even with the crazy amount of spectacular plays Escobar makes, it was probably his best defensive gem.

After the second out of the bottom of the 9th, Tyler Greene singled off Broxton for his third hit of the game. And then the craziness occurred and that was that.

The Royals improve to 28-34 and are 6 games under .500…again. Can they finally make the leap to 5 games under? KC is also now just 5.5 games behind 1st place Chicago in the AL Central. This team is playing like the young team they are. And it’s maddeningly frustrating. They’ll lose three in a row, and then reel off 6 out of 8, and then lose 5 out of 7. It’s been a crazy season already.

I know it’s like a broken record saying this, but the Royals are still in it despite all of the injuries this team has had to endure. And they’re still in it despite a very underperforming offense and mediocre, although better than expected starting pitching.

If the offense can get it going…If it can just get to the middle of the pack in the AL, not even where we thought it would be before the season, this team can make a run in the 2nd half of the season. With Salvy Perez returning in the next week or so, Lorenzo Cain returning shortly after the All-Star break and the inevitable call up of phenom Wil Myers sometime this season, the offense should only get better.

Can the starting pitching stay at the level it’s been at lately though? Felipe Paulino will eventually return and hopefully soon, and Luis Mendoza and Vin Mazzaro have been fantastic as of late to go along with the steady Bruce Chen. The Royals’ best pitching prospect at the moment, Jake Odorizzi, has been lights out in Omaha and will also get the call up sometime in the near future.

It’s all set up for the Royals to make a run in the 2nd half of the season. Will this 4-game winning streak be the start of it, or will the young Royals continue to make us all crazy?

NEXT: Game 2 of series @ St.Louis Cardinals (33-32)

WHEN: Saturday, June 16th, 2012


WHERE: Busch Stadium, St.Louis, MO

TV/RADIO: Fox Sports KC/KCSP 610 AM

PROBABLES: KC – Bruce Chen (5-6, 4.44 ERA, 1.23 WHIP) STL – Joe Kelly (0-0, 1.80 ERA, 1.60 WHIP)