Well this is certainly something we can get used to. After winning just 29 games last season on the road, the Kansas City picked up their second this season and defeated the Detroit Tigers 9-5 Sunday afternoon to win the series two games to one. Kansas City now sits at 6-3 on the season and heads to Minnesota where Tuesday they begin a quick two game series against the Twins.
A solid pitching effort by Luke Hochevar and solid contributions at the plate allowed Kansas City to take an early lead in the third inning and do enough on the day to hold the Tigers down. Hochevar went 7.0 innings giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits, to go along with six punchouts of Detroit batters as he improved his record to 1-1 thus far.
Hochevar did give up three home runs on the day, but it only counted for a total of four runs for Detroit, which fell to just 3-6 with the loss. Kansas City amassed 15 hits on the day and benefited from being able to advance runners on the basepaths due to a putrid Detroit defensive effort. The Tigers committed a total of four errors during the game, and twice allowed Royals runners to advance from first to third on errant throws to first.
All Royals players in the lineup each obtained a hit, and Wilson Betemit lead the way with a 4-for-4 day at the plate which included a walk, a steal, and an RBI. Betemit has now improved his slash line to .381/.500/.571 so far on the season which is hopefully showing progression as he gets more comfortable in this lineup. Last year he posted 13 home runs and 43 RBI mainly in the second half of the season after a late May call up from Omaha. A gifted athlete who has long been touted for his versatility, let's all hope this is a sign of him finally putting it all together at age 29.
After Detroit scored once in the bottom of the ninth off Kanekoa Texeira to make it a 9-5 game, and with two runners on, Royals manager Ned Yost called upon Joakim Soria to work the final two outs for his second save in as many days, and third on the season.
Looking ahead to Tuesday night Jeff Francis (0-0 1.98 ERA) will take on Brian Duensing (0-0 5.14 ERA) at 7:10 pm. The game can be seen on Fox Sports Kansas City. Wednesday will bring a 12:10 pm day game as Kyle Davies (0-1 9.00 ERA) will take the mound against Francisco Liriano (0-2 7.71 ERA). Minnesota enters the series with a 3-6 record and has scored the second fewest runs thus far in all of baseball. Let's all hope Francis can pitch like last time out, and Davies can do just enough to allow the Kansas City offense to help him out.
Every time Detroit was able to put runs on the board, Kansas City was right there offensively able to answer in the top half of the next inning and it was pleasant to watch the opponent struggle with many of the fielding errors today that many Kansas City fans have become accustomed to seeing the Royals make over the years.