Royals win on Nori Aoki’s Walkoff Single


Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals pulled off their 3rd straight win with a 2-1 14th inning walkoff victory on Nori Aoki‘s RBI single to beat the Indians at Kauffman Stadium Thursday night.

Nori Aoki got a clutch hit for the 2nd straight night. But, this time, the Royals did not need a hard slide from Mike Moustakas to get the win. Lorenzo Cain scored standing up on Aoki’s clean single to left.

The win ended a marathon that the Royals expected to be over long before after they scored in the bottom of the 8th inning to hand a 1-run lead to closer Greg Holland. Holland, however, followed with his 3rd blown save of the season, leading to Thursday’s extra-inning marathon.

The win puts KC above .500 at 51-50. The Royals remain 7 games behind Detroit in the A.L Central, but pull ahead of the Indians into 2nd place by 1/2 game.

On the Mound

Danny Duffy locked up in a scoreless duel with Indians starter Corey Kluber for 7 innings. Duffy allowed only 2 hits, 2 walk and 0 earned runs with 7 strikeouts before leaving the game tied 0-0. Duffy did not give up a hit until the 5th inning.

Wade Davis escaped a bases-loaded situation in the 8th after he surrendered 2 hits and 1 walk with a double play grounder from Michael Brantley.

Greg Holland surrendered 2 hits and a walk, including Yan Gomes‘ two-out single to score Carlos Santana from 3rd. Holland left the game with the score 1-1 after finishing off the 9th.

Fransicley Bueno pitched 1.2 innings, allowing 1 walk, 0 runs, and notching 3 strikeouts.

Jason Frasor recorded the final out of the 11th with a strikeout.

Scott Downs pitched scoreless innings in the 12th and 13th innings.

Aaron Crow picked up the win for his scoreless 14th inning (5-1).

At the Plate

The Royals won despite only getting 5 hits and 1 walk on the night. In contrast, the Indians stranded 10 base-runners after stroking 7 hits and drawing 6 walks. The Royals, however, did get the only two extra-base hits in the game on doubles by Mike Moustakas and pinch hitter Raul Ibanez.

Moustakas  scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the 8th inning after hitting his double. Moustakas came around to score on Ryan Raburn‘s wild throw toward the infield. Moose went 1-5, with 1 double, and 1 run scored.

Kansas City scored their second run after Lorenzo Cain beat out an infield single to lead off the 14th, stole second, and scored on Nori Aoki’s game-winning single.

This and That

Eric Hosmer entered the game in the 9th as a defensive replacement for Billy Butler, but gave way to Raul Ibanez in the 12th because trainers did not want him to bat with his injured hand.

Ibanez pulled off a neat double play in the top of the 12th to help Scott Downs escape the 12th inning without damage.

Omar Infante was the only Royal to reach base safely two times, going 1-4 with a single and a walk.

The Royals are still only 23-25 at home after Thursday’s win.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

I have to go with Nori Aoki for his clutch hit that ended a very long night, with apologies to Lorenzo Cain for failing to recognize his hustle. Let’s hope Aoki can pull off a big 2nd half after disappointing through the first 100 games of the year.

More from Kansas City Royals

The Indians

Carlos Santana kept the Indians in the game, going 2-4 with 2 singles, 2 walks, and scoring Cleveland’s only run in the 9th.

Cleveland starter Corey Kluber had a no-hitter going through 6 innings, until Omar Infante singled to center with 2 out in the 7th.

Up Next

The Royals play the 2nd game of their series against Cleveland on Friday night. Kansas City will send Yordana Ventura (7-8, 3.59 ERA) to the mound against Josh Tomlin (5-7, 4.43 ERA) for Cleveland. Game time is 7:10 PM CST at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.