The Kansas City Royals can finally breathe again, as they were able to win a series on the road, taking two of three for the Cleveland Indians and stopping the bleeding that has characterized the first three weeks of the season.
Tuesday night’s opener made it seem as if nothing had changed. The Royals lost 4-3 after the Indians touched Jonathan Sanchez for three runs in the fifth inning. The lefty had been pitching shutout ball until then, and the letdown in the fifth certainly feeds concerns about just how durable he is. But Kansas City bounced back with an easy win on Wednesday. Billy Butler and Eric Hosmer homered early to help build a 4-2 lead. Alex Gordon blasted a three-run shot in the ninth to blow it open and Butler tacked on one more home run for good measure. Then today’s matinee game saw the offense pepper away for three runs in the fifth and produce a series-deciding 4-2 win.
The big guns in the Kansas City lineup stepped up big in Cleveland. We’ve noted here recently that Alex Gordon has been gaining steam. With a 5-for-13 series he’s now doing more than just gaining steam, he’s actually hot. Butler was 5-for-14, and Mike Moustakas remains quietly hot, going 4-for-10 and tacking on a pair of walks. Hosmer’s 3-for-12 showing for three games might not jump out at you, but when you add patience and power to the equation—three walks and an important home run—it becomes a productive series at a time Kansas City needed it.
Ned Yost and the Royals head to Minnesota next for at three-game series starting Friday night.