Royals Recap: Luis Mendoza Gets Bombed; Lorenzo Cain Comes Up Big


Well, the Kansas City Royals (15-10) are sure making it difficult to turn off the television and go to bed early when they are playing. On Wednesday, the Royals came storming back again after trailing by 5 runs twice to beat the Tampa Bay Rays (12-15) 9-8. They have 10 comebacks wins in 2013.

April 20, 2013; Boston, MA USA; Kansas City Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain (6) rounds first base after hitting a home run during the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

On the Mound

On Wednesday, Luis Mendoza looked like a mediocre pitcher who hadn’t started for a couple of weeks. Mendoza, who was only making his 3rd start of the year due to all of the April off days, just got lit up. He lasted just 4 innings, giving up 6 runs on 7 hits and a walk. He surrendered 3 home runs on the night. Bruce Chen, Aaron Crow, and Greg Holland combined for 4.3 scoreless innings. Tim Collins gave up 2 runs on 4 hits in just two thirds of a frame. This was the third game out of the last four where the starter got knocked around.

At the Plate

It was a good night at the plate. The Kansas City offense heated up, pounding out 15 hits, only 3 of which were for extra bases, and taking two walks. Lorenzo Cain went 2-5 with a triple, scored twice and drove in 2 runs. Billy Butler had 3 hits, including just his 3rd double of the season. Alex Gordon, Alcides Escobar, and Salvador Perez each added 2 hits. Elliot Johnson hit his first home run as a Royal and made a great play ranging to his left to save a run in the 7th. It was the 2nd straight night Kansas City exploded in the 6th inning.

This and That

Ten of the Royals 15 wins have been of the comeback variety. Ten different players have had the game-winning RBI in those games.

Eric Hosmer is still looking for his first home run of 2013.

The Royals slipped back in front of the Tigers for a half game lead in the Central. Only 4.5 games separate the first place Royals from the last place White Sox, the narrowest gap in the majors.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Lorenzo Cain had a terrific night, producing 4 runs in the game and legging out his first triple of the year.

The Rays

Jeremy Hellickson gave up 4 run on 9 hits in just 5 innings and reliever Jake McGee got pounded for 5 runs in two thirds of inning.  Matt Joyce (again), Ben Zobrist and Luke Scott homered for the Rays, as Tampa produced 13 hits of their own on the night.

Up Next

If the weather cooperates, and it doesn’t appear that it will, Ervin Santana (3-1, 2.00 ERA) will Roberto Hernandez, formerly Fausto Carmona (1-4, 5.28 ERA) at 1:10 on Thursday. If the game is rained out, there will be no recap on Friday.

AL Central Notes

Detroit Tigers (15-11): Victor Martinez is only hitting .212 with no home runs after sitting out 2012 with an injury. Rookie reliever Bruce Rondon may not be ready for the big time yet. He gave up 2 runs, 2 hits, and 2 walks while only recording one out in the loss to the Twins. His ERA rose to 11.57 in the majors.

Minnesota Twins (12-12): Chris Parmelee hit his second dinger of the year in the Twins 6-2 victory over the Tigers. Scott Diamond got his 2nd win of 2013.

Cleveland Indians (12-13): The Indians stayed hot behind rookie starter Trevor Bauer with a 6-0 win over the Phillies. It was Bauer’s first victory as an Indian. He lowered his ERA to 2.70. He only allowed 1 hit over five innings but he did walk 6. Ryan Raburn stayed blazing sun hot, going 4-5 Wednesday. He did not, however, hit 2 home runs as he had the previous two nights. Raburn is 11-13 (.846) over the last 3 contests to raise his season average to .364. He has 9 of his 10 RBI for they year in those 3 games.

Chicago White Sox (11-15): Addison Reed picked up his 9th save of the season in the Sox’ 5-2 win over Texas. Chris Sale won his third. Alejandro De Aza hit his 5th homer, and Connor Gillaspie hit his 3rd.