The KC Royals have now won eight in a row. Meaning at the trading deadline, they did not sell key pieces. The problem is, the two teams in front of them in the American League Central keep on winning too. Detroit is in first place (2.5 games up) and have won five in a row. Cleveland has won seven in a row and have a 1/2 game lead on the final Wild Card spot. The Royals are still seven games back of first place, but they have moved up in the wild card standings (4.5 games back).
So they still have work to do.
On Wednesday night, the Royals got it done on the field for the eighth game in a row. They beat the Minnesota Twins, 4-3.
The Royals got on the board early, scoring single runs in the second and third. After a David Lough double in the 2nd inning, Miguel Tejada singled in the game’s first run. In the 3rd inning, Billy Butler drove in a run on a sac fly (though Eric Hosmer was thrown out trying to tag up and move to third base).
Jeremy Guthrie was solid over six innings (two runs on six hits and two walks). Both runs scored over his final two innings of work.
The Royals got to the Twins bullpen in the 7th inning. With two outs, shortstop Pedro Florimon committed a fielding error that scored one run (he had hit a homerun off Guthrie). After a pitching change, Butler singled in another run.
Kelvin Herrera came on in the bottom of the eighth and allowed back to back doubles to score one run. After a strikeout, Herrera allowed a single to put runners on the corners. That ended his night and Aaron Crow escaped the mess with two strikeouts.
After three ground outs retired the Royals in order in the ninth, Greg Holland worked around a one out single (and a throwing error by Alcides Escobar) with two strikeouts to pick up his 28th save of the season.
Manager Ned Yost may be on to something. The top of the order once again was hot. Alex Gordon and Hosmer went a combined 4-for-10 with three runs scored. Lough picked up three hits and Mike Moustakas had two hits (though he struck out twice).
*The Royals will need to make a roster move before tomorrow’s game with Justin Maxwell, the outfielder acquired from Houston, set to join the team. I have heard that Lorenzo Cain and Chris Getz are not headed to the DL and they will not trim a reliever. So, it is looking like Elliot Johnson may be the odd man out. That will give the Royals five outfielders and technically no backup infielders with Getz hurting.