Morales Clobbers Old Team with Three Hits, Moose and Salvy Go Yard En Route to a 6-4 Royals VictoryFollow @RoyalsBlue_com
Remember the last time Kansas City won a series against the Angels on national television? Oh, right… It was six months ago in the ALDS. Though the stakes are not as high, it’s still fun to beat the best team in the AL from a year ago.
Through the first three innings, it almost looked as if Kansas City would finally lose their first ballgame of the season. Jered Weaver had a no-hitter through three innings, and Jeremy Guthrie gave up a leadoff home run in the first inning to Kole Calhoun to give the Angels a 1-0 advantage. With the Royals trailing by one run, Mike Moustakas quickly put an end to Weaver’s shutout, and brief no-hit bid, with one swing of the bat, which quickly snowballed into a 5-run inning for KC with big hits from Kendrys Morales, Alex Rios, and Salvador Perez (HR). Morales also drove in a run in the fifth inning to put the Royals up 6-1. After all of Kansas City’s scoring was done for the day, LA threatened to take the lead back with three runs of their own in the fifth inning. Kole Calhoun drove in his second and third runs of the night, along with a Mike Trout RBI-single to cut the Royals lead to two runs. Had it not been for Kendrys Morales, who was 3-4 with an RBI and a run scored tonight, the Angels might have pulled this one out.
Though it doesn’t show up as a quality start, Jeremy Guthrie wasn’t too shabby in his 2015 debut. He made his way through Angels hitters with relative ease. After the fifth inning, it looked like a good time for Ned Yost to go to the bullpen, but Yost left his starter in there for the sixth and seventh, raising the eyebrows of many. Guthrie’s final line is: 7.0 innings pitched, four earned runs, two strikeouts, a walk, and one home run allowed.
Guthrie was backed by some solid defense. Lorenzo Cain was inches away from robbing Kole Calhoun’s leadoff home run in the first inning. Alex Gordon made a fine catch early in the game, and Alcides Escobar took away a hit on an in between hop that he made look easy. Jeremy Guthrie will, once again, benefit from this stellar Kansas City defense this season.
One guy that has been solid on defense (like usual), but not so hot on the offensive side of things is Alex Gordon. Through five games (four for him), he’s had just one hit, a lousy single. Gordon is coming off of wrist surgery this past offseason, and is about two weeks behind everyone else. For now, the offense is picking up his slack. What happens when they don’t, and they need legitimate production in that sixth spot in the batting order? Do they let him try to figure it out? Do they stick Paulo Orlando in there and give Gordon time to heal properly? Wrist injuries aren’t just something that will heal if he keeps playing through it. It wouldn’t be such a terrible thing to stick Gordon on the DL, and let him rehab for a couple of weeks.
Kansas City is 5-0 for the second time in franchise history. The first time it happened was in 2003, and that year was not a pleasant one for anyone in the organization. Things are really clicking right now: Dominant pitching, an offense that’s firing on all cylinders, and a bullpen that should be made illegal. It’s too early to tell what kind of year the Royals will have, but if things keep going at this pace, there will be another Blue October on our hands. Just remember: If you’re going to judge a team, make sure you have an accurate sample size. Five games is not enough. If at the end of May, they’re still playing like this, another playoff push is a real possibility.
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