Calm, Cool, and Collected: Royals Take Game One, 7-1 Over Minnesota

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After a heated (to say the least) weekend series with the Oakland A’s, Kansas City looks for a more even-keeled match against their division foes, the Minnesota Twins. Though the score was lopsided, there were no bench clearing incidents, so we can consider that a step in the right direction.

 

Behind the brilliancy of Edinson Volquez, the Royals were able to take game one from the Twins, just like the last series. His first time facing Minnesota, Volquez threw 7.2 innings, allowed three earned runs, and whiffed seven batters. This time out against Twins was even better as he threw seven innings, allowed an earned run, and sat down five hitters. Though he struggled during the spring, he has come out firing with three straight quality starts during his first season with the Kansas City Royals.

 

The lone Twins run came in the second inning when Brian Dozier scored on an errant throw from Royals first baseman, Eric Hosmer. From then on out, it would be all Royals, thanks in large part to a subpar Minnesota defense.

 

To start scoring off for Kansas City, Alcides Escobar, returning from injury, snuck a ground ball by Trevor Plouffe for a leadoff double. Moved to third on a groundout from Mike Moustakas, Escobar touched home easily on a wild pitch from Kyle Gibson. Again in the sixth inning, the Royals struck again. The previously mentioned Minnesota defense allowed Mike Moustakas to reach base to start off the sixth inning. With Eric Hosmer on first, via walk, and Moustakas on second, Kendrys Morales doubled to score Moose for the team’s second run. Another wild pitch allows Eric Hosmer to score for the third run of the game, and a Salvador Perez sacrifice fly scores Morales, who was standing on third base because of aforementioned wild pitch.

 

For the first time in his career, the Royals chased Kyle Gibson after not escaping the sixth inning. Gibson wasn’t “roughed up” per se, but he allowed three earned runs in five complete innings. Have the Royals figured out the Twins’ young ace? No, probably not. They’re making baby steps though.

 

The bullpen finished it out for Minnesota, and two of the three pitchers would do a bang-up job. It was Caleb Theilbar who really struggled with the Royals in the eighth inning. An RBI-single scored Mike Moustakas for the second time. A 2-RBI triple from (you guessed it) Paulo Orlando scored Kendrys Morales and Salvador Perez to give Kansas City their final runs of the game.

 

Something overlooked in the Royals 7-1 victory over the Twins is that Lorenzo Cain got the day off after being drilled by a Scott Kazmir fastball in the foot. Kansas City has said nothing about a possible injury, so there’s no need to be alarmed just yet. Cain really needed the day off, and with what could probably be a good-sized bruise on his foot, it was warranted.

 

Also slightly overlooked is that Ryan Madson came on in relief and pitched a scoreless inning for the second game in a row. Madson has thrown 5.2 innings this season and only allowed one earned run. As if the Royals bullpen needed any help, he could be a much-needed boost with Greg Holland out and a possible suspension of Kelvin Herrera, who also pitched a scoreless inning today, looming large.

 

No warnings, no ejections, and more importantly no bench clearings. Tonight was a step in the right direction for the Royals, who seem to have their emotions under control. Kansas City will send Jason Vargas to the mound tomorrow night to face Tommy Milone.

 

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Author: Sarah Davis

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