The Kansas City Royals broke out of an extended run-scoring slump by getting to one of the toughest relievers in baseball.
They celebrated in the dugout after eighth-place hitter Adalberto Mondesi lined the first pitch from left-hander Josh Hader off the outfield wall for a long [url=http://www.bearsfootballauthentics.com/anthony-miller-jersey-authentic]Youth Anthony Miller Jersey[/url] , two-run single with the bases loaded to take a 3-1 lead.
The hit was a turning point in a five-run seventh for the Royals, who held off the Milwaukee Brewers in the ninth for a 5-4 win on Wednesday.
”Score two runs and you can just kind of sense a sigh of relief from our offense, and then tacked on a couple more. It was good,” manager Ned Yost said.
The Royals scored more than four in a game for the first time since a 9-6 loss to the Angels on June 4. That 19-game stretch with four runs or fewer was the longest in the majors since the Baltimore Orioles went 21 straight in September 1992.
Danny Duffy (4-7) allowed five hits over six effective innings for the Royals, who split a two-game interleague series with the NL Central-leading Brewers.
The Royals called on Wily Peralta, a former Brewer, to close out the game after Brad Miller hit a three-run homer off reliever Tim Hill with nobody out in the ninth to get the Brewers within 5-4.
Eric Thames struck out before pinch-hitter Erik Kratz singled. Peralta then got Ryan Braun to bounce into a game-ending double play that was initially ruled as a fielder’s choice before the call was overturned on review.
Peralta said he felt a little extra sense of satisfaction in turning away the Brewers for his second save.
”There’s always a little bit of adrenaline going when you face your former team,” the right-hander said.
Mike Moustakas opened the seventh with a solo shot off Brent Suter (8-5) to tie the game at 1-all. Moustakas and Whit Merrifield each had two hits and an RBI.
Kansas City, which was hitting .188 in June coming into the game, got to the hard-throwing Hader. He allowed all three runners he inherited to score.
Hader also gave up one earned run on his own, along with two hits in two-thirds of an inning.
”They jumped on the first pitch and we’ve seen that a lot lately, but he’s been so effective that obviously multiple hits in an inning is something we haven’t seen,” manager Craig Counsell said. ”They got him today.”
Brewers: Suter, who made a great defensive play in the fifth, allowed six hits and four runs with six strikeouts before leaving with the bases loaded and nobody out in the seventh. He retired the first 11 batters.
”We’re battling and not really making it easy on our opponents. Even in our losses, we’re making the other team work a lot,” Suter said.
Royals: Duffy struck out seven and walked two. The left-hander has a 2.52 ERA over his past four starts.
AGUILAR GOES FAR
Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar hit a solo shot in the sixth off Duffy for his team-leading 18th homer. He has homered in back-to-back games for the fourth time this season.
Royals: RHP Justin Grimm was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 24 with what they club said was right shoulder impingement syndrome. Grimm (1-3), who is making his second trip this year to the DL [url=http://www.broncosauthorizedshops.com/authentic-royce-freeman-jersey]http://www.broncosauthorizedshops.com/authentic-royce-freeman-jersey[/url] , would be eligible to return on July 4 against Cleveland. RHP Jason Adam was called up from Triple-A Omaha to replace Grimm in the bullpen. … C Salvador Perez left the game with nobody out and two on in the top of the ninth after a foul ball off the bat of Brad Miller ricocheted off his upper right leg. He was replaced by Drew Butera.
Brewers: 3B Travis Shaw was held out of the lineup for a second straight day to rest his sore right wrist. ”And then tomorrow, we’ll take a hard look at how he’s feeling,” Counsell said.
Royals: After a day off in Seattle, Ian Kennedy (1-7) opens a three-game series on Friday against the Mariners.
Brewers: Junior Guerra (3-5) pitches the opener of a four-game series in Cincinnati. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA at Great American Ball Park.
MINNEAPOLIS — After wearing the same uniform for the past four seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, Alex Cobb and Jake Odorizzi face off Sunday as Cobb’s Baltimore Orioles try to avoid a sweep when they take on Odorizzi and the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.
With the Rays in a full-blown rebuild, both pitchers found new homes this past spring. Odorizzi was traded to Minnesota early in spring training while Cobb was one of the many free agents who waited out an unnerving winter before eventually signing a four-year, $57 million deal with Baltimore late in camp.
Now, only a week away from the All-Star break, neither pitcher — nor his team — is having the kind of season they anticipated Opening Day.
It’s been especially painful for Cobb (2-10, 6.53 ERA), whose deal was the largest offered to an Orioles pitcher. The right-hander was expected to be a stabilizing force in a rotation that had designs on a postseason berth but instead, he slumped out of the gate and went 2-9 with a 7.14 ERA through his first 12 starts in an Orioles’ uniform.
Through that, there have been flashes of the pitcher Baltimore had in mind when it made the deal. He’s held opponents to three earned runs or fewer in eight of his 15 starts overall, including his last time out when he held the Phillies to three while striking out five in 6 2/3 innings.
“Alex is going to be a good pitcher,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “He is a good pitcher at times this year. It’s hard. It’s hard. He’s hardened from pitching in the American League. He knows the fine line between success and failure.”
With his team holding baseball’s worst record and buried in the basement of a division dominated by the Yankees and Red Sox, Cobb knows the playoffs aren’t even a pipe dream at this point. But he still has a goal of finishing the season strong and setting the stage for a bounce-back campaign in 2019.
“I don’t want to say take it almost spring training-like, but we have to do whatever it takes for each and every one of us to get better going forward,” Cobb said. “When you get hung up on results [url=http://www.packersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-j_mon-moore-jersey]http://www.packersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-j_mon-moore-jersey[/url] , I think that you let that cloud the process that’s going on to make yourself get better. I don’t want it to be framed to any fans or front office, coaching staff, that we’re not going out there trying to win ballgames. We absolutely are, every single night.
“But we also need to not be so result-oriented and take the small progressions that we’re making and get better. If we want to compete later on this year, next year, we need to get better each and every one of us — individually.”
Cobb is 2-0 with a 2.20 ERA in three starts versus Minnesota.
Things haven’t been much better in the Twin Cities, where Odorizzi (3-6, 4.57 ERA) was expected to be a key addition to a Twins team that was thought to be a contender with Cleveland for the AL Central title after making an unexpected trip to the American League wild-card game a year ago.
He opened the year on a high note, going 3-2 with a 3.17 ERA through his first 10 outings but has struggled with consistency since, posting a 6.81 ERA over his last eight starts.
“It’s upsetting and frustrating … it’s not something I take lightly,” Odorizzi said of his struggles late last month. “I take a lot of pride in getting guys out. Trust me, I’m more frustrated about this than anybody in this clubhouse. This has been one of the tougher stretches in my short big-league career.”
Odorizzi has shown signs of bouncing back in his last two outings. He held the White Sox scoreless for six innings, allowing three hits while striking out eight, but took a no-decision June 28 in Chicago and followed that with a strong showing in Milwaukee where the Brewers managed only two runs while striking out nine times over five innings.
Odorizzi, who hasn’t won since May 8, is 5-4 with a 4.42 ERA in 19 games (18 starts) versus Baltimore.