Royals Victory Has Much Significance

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The Kansas City Royals managed to keep reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber winless for the year. With a 7-4 victory, Kluber was hung with the loss that now drops his season record to 0-5. By allowing 5 uns over 5 2/3 innings, his ERA rose to an un-majestic 5.04 and it has only been getting worse.

On the mound for the Royals was darling of the staff Edinson Volquez, who also pitched himself into a dilly of a pickle. After forming a blister on his thumb (and if you haven't seen this thing, head on over to twitter, its "for real") Volquez was yanked after only completing 3 innings. After writing yesterday about Volquez and Duffy being the best two starters by far on the Royals staff, they immediately went out and combined for 4 total innings of terrible baseball.

Volquez saw his ERA rise to 2.65, so even with this game he still has a pretty sparkling resume. Ned Yost said after the game that the trainers indicated he should not miss any time due to the blister and is expected to make his next start.

There were some GOOD things to happen for the Royals in this game that have greater implications than simply one win, including Eric Hosmer hitting an absolute rocket to center field for his fifth home run on the season. Hosmer had 2 hits and 3 RBI's on the day and has raised his season line to an incredible .324/.403/.565.

Two pitchers made their returns this game, Luke Hochevar and Greg Holland. Holland had been out since April 17th with a pectoral strain and threw 1 perfect frame in his return. Hochevar missed all of 2014 after undergoing Tommy John surgery to repair his throwing arm. Hochevar managed a perfect frame himself, even striking out two batters after not having pitched in a year and a half. Having a healthy Hochevar adds one more formidable arm in an already stacked bullpen. Hoch had a 1.92 ERA in 70+ innings during the 2013 season, and had risen to the role now held by Wade Davis.

Franklin Morales came back after having a rough outing in Wednesdays matchup and threw 2 innings of 1 hit ball with 2 strikeouts and no runs.

Omar Infante managed to break out of his recent funk somewhat, collecting an important double to score a couple of much needed runs.

One of the dark spots in the lineup was newly assigned leadoff man Alex Gordon having 2 strikeouts. In his last 3 games, he has struck out 7 times including 6 in the last 2 days.

Mike Moustakas had a 3 for 4 day, and is attempting to keep pace with Hosmer atop the Royals offensive leader board, improving his line to .327/.392/.460.

Also of note: The Royals have acquired catcher Drew Butera from the Angels in exchange for minor league infielder Ryan Jackson. Butera fills the shoes of Eric Kratz who was placed on the DL with a foot injury. Francisco Pena will be sent back down and can continue working on development as a catcher instead of riding pine behind Salvador Perez. Eric Kratz had only amassed 4 at bats on the season before being hurt.

Kelvin Herrera had his suspension reduced and began serving a 6 game suspension Thursday.

Alcides Escobar has still not returned from a concussion he suffered after being struck in the head during an at bat. Christian Colon has filled in, and has done an acceptable job. While not overwhelming with his bat (.255/.314/.319) he has been adequate on defense, which about all anyone can ask of a utility infielder.

 

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