It what was supposed to be a “welcome back to Kansas City” series for Billy Butler, turned into an ugly series with the Oakland A’s, but the KC Royals came out victorious. The Royals won the Sunday finale in comeback fashion, with a 4-2 win.
Just when you thought everything had calmed down after Saturday night, things got started again on Sunday.
A’s starter Scott Kazmir hit Lorenzo Cain in the leg in the first inning with two outs. Both teams were warned, which drew the ire of manager Ned Yost. He was promptly ejected, as was pitching coach Dave Eiland (who was seen yelling at the A’s players, not the umps).
That was only the beginning.
Royals starter Danny Duffy kept his cool, though he struggled with his command. He battled through five innings, walking five. He allowed two runs on four hits while striking out five.
Then the players started dropping.
Omar Infante led off the fifth with a double. With one out, Christian Colon (starting at shortstop for the second straight day) singled. However, Infante did not move off second base. Apparently, he injured his groin, but did not say anything until he couldn’t run to third base. In came Orlando Calixte to run, making his Major League debut (he then played shortstop while CC moved to second base).
At the same time, the A’s lost second baseman Ben Zobrist with knee soreness.
Jason Frasor escaped a jam in the sixth (a walk and two singles). Ryan Madson worked around a two out double in the seventh.
Kelvin Herrera entered in the eighth with the A’s clinging to a 2-1 lead. After two ground outs, up came the hated Brett Lawrie. Herrera threw one 100mph fastball up and in and the other behind him. Of course, Royals fans cheered him on.
Herrera was ejected (while pointing at his head), Lawrie had to be held back, and the benches cleared once again. Herrera said after the game that his fastball slipped out of his hand. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu was also ejected, along with injured shortstop Alcides Escobar, who was jawing with Josh Reddick.
Lefty Franklin Morales entered and retired Lawrie on a pop up.
Then the Royals actually fought back, in baseball terms, not in fighting terms.
Paulo Orlando walked and moved to second base on Mike Moustakas’ ground out. After a pitching change, LoCain doubled in Orlando to tie the game at 2-2. LoCain stole third base and Eric Hosmer walked. Kendrys Morales then doubled home the winning runs.
Wade Davis quietly shut the door on the A’s in the ninth, striking out two of the three batters he faced.
Calixte went 1-for-2 in his big league debut.
Orlando had his first outfield assist, as he threw out Zobrist trying to stretch a single into a double.
Hopefully cooler heads prevail when Minnesota comes to town for three games, starting Monday.
*Erik Kratz made his first start of the season, though he only caught seven innings. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and looked like he hadn’t played in two weeks. Salvador Perez pinch-hit for Jarrod Dyson in the bottom of the seventh and struck out. Alex Gordon then went in to play left field and Perez stayed in to catch.
**I expect there could be some suspensions coming the Royals way, most notably Yordano Ventura for Saturday and Herrera for today. Not something the Royals need with the injuries and their 9-3 record.