The KC Royals improved to 6-0 on the season with a three-game series sweep against the LA Angels. The Royals won Sunday’s finale by a 9-2 score. They now head on to Minnesota for the third straight home opening series.
With Atlanta losing earlier today, the Royals and American League Central rival Detroit are the only two undefeated teams left in Major League Baseball. It should be fun when these two teams meet at Kauffman Stadium for the first time at the end of the month.
There was some history in the game, as Paulo Orlando became the first player in MLB history to have his first three hits be triples. Orlando started in left field for the second time this season and tripled in his third at-bat of the day off Angels starter CJ Wilson (to lead off the sixth).
Then in his next at-bat (against Angels reliever Fernando Salas in the seventh), Orlando tripled again. When the ball hit the left field wall, the Angels announcers were like “well, he’ll have another triple easily”.
Orlando leads all of MLB in triples with three. Any chance the Royals start a platoon in left field with Orlando and Alex Gordon until Gordon gets his timing down? Doubtful.
Then there was the almost brawl in the sixth.
Royals starter Yordano Ventura was cruising: he had allowed just one hit, an Albert Pujols home run in the bottom of the first. He had seven strikeouts. With one out in the sixth, he threw a fastball up and in to Mike Trout. Trout just got back in the box and got ready for the next pitch, which he lined into center for a single. However, Ventura stared him down all the way to first base and moved towards him at the bag.
When Trout realized there was a stare down going on, he threw up his hands like “what’s your problem?”
Pujols then drove Trout in with a double and as Trout jumped up exuberantly from sliding across the plate, Ventura (who was again staring him down) and Trout had words and the benches cleared.
I got put down a bit on Twitter (which is why I try to avoid it) because I didn’t side with Ventura and think that Trout started it. I’m a baseball fan (not strictly a Royals fan) and I hate when pitchers stare down hitters. Unless it is when a hitter is pimping a homer (which I also hate).
You are up 7-1 in the 6th inning and on the verge of helping the team improve to 6-0 on the season. You are on the verge of improving to 2-0. WHY WOULD YOU STARE DOWN A HITTER (who is one of the game’s best) AND POSSIBLY START A FIGHT?
Just keep on dominating and let the score and your stuff speak for itself.
After the incident, Ventura did not cover first base on a ball that Eric Hosmer bobbled a bit. He pointed to his leg and was pulled from the game with another injury. Turns out, Ventura had a leg cramp (much like his thumb cramp in his Opening Day start).
After being taken out, who was sitting right next to Ventura on the bench? Edinson Volquez. When the Royals signed Volquez this offseason, it was one of the signings that I really liked. It gave them a veteran starter, but a veteran LATIN starter. I thought Volquez would be a good sounding board for Ventura and would help him mature.
I think that is the only thing holding Ventura back from possible greatness: his immaturity.
Anyway, getting off my soapbox…
It was a great offensive day for the Royals. Salvador Perez hit his third home run of the season, a solo shot in the seventh. He now has eight RBIs on the season.
Perez was one of five Royals with a multi-hit game: Lorenzo Cain, Kendrys Morales, and Orlando also had two hits, while Alex Rios had a three-hit game.
Alcides Escobar drove in his first three runs of the season and hit his third double.
The pitching also was good. Jason Frasor threw 1.1 scoreless innings of relief with one strikeout. Chris Young threw two scoreless innings. He did allow a hit.
*Lefty Franklin Morales still has yet to pitch in a game. It will be interesting to see how he pitches the first time since he already is a wild one and it will be more than a week since he last threw.