This is more like it. This is what playing the Royals is supposed to be like: a slugfest. Granted, they had a bit of a slugfest of their own, but with Miller on the mound, that’s not surprising. Would I have preferred it if we won, 13-0 instead of 13-9? Absolutely. But a win is a win, and at least we picked apart their pitching staff like we’re supposed to.
Miller’s line was one of the worst we’ve seen this year. He only lasted three and two-thirds innings and in that time managed to give up seven runs, five earned, on nine hits. He walked two, struck out one, and gave up two home runs. He threw eighty pitches, forty-three of which were strikes.
Those two earned runs were Miller’s own fault; he made a throwing error in the second. Both of his home runs were allowed in the fourth. It wasn’t pretty. It’s never pretty when you actually need a slugfest in order to win.
Miller can thank Scutaro for making sure it wasn’t even worse. With one out, Scutaro was perfectly in position to corral a hard-hit liner and fire to second for a quick double play to end the second with the bases loaded. He definitely saved at least one run there.
Aceves took care of the last out in the fourth and pitched the next three; he picked up the win. Albers pitched a scoreless eighth. Morales gave up two runs in the ninth. Fortunately, they didn’t matter. (But, as I always say, what if they did matter?)
Okay. The point is that our pitching performances were bookended with two that were not great, and that’s an understatement. So this is the story of how we won anyway.
McDonald stood in for Ellsbury, who got the day off. He led off the inning with a single, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a sac fly. Then Pedroia tripled and scored on a double by Papi. At the end of the first, we were tied at two.
Scutaro led off the third with a double. Gonzalez walked. Pedroia doubled in Scutaro; Papi doubled in Gonzalez and Pedroia. At the end of three, we were up by one.
Crawford walked with the bases loaded in the fourth; we were down by one.
This is when we blew the game wide open. Reddick and Ellsbury, who came in to pinch-hit for Navarro, began the fifth with back-to-back singles. Sutton hit a sac fly; Mike Aviles missed the catch and then made a terrible throw, so Reddick and Ellsbury both scored and Sutton went to third. Then Scutaro walked, and Sutton scored on a single by Gonzalez. Then Pedroia singled, and Papi singled in Scutaro and Gonzalez. Then Crawford singled, Tek struck out, and Reddick scored Pedroia on a sac fly. At the end of five, we were up by five and just kept on pulling away from there.
Tek led off the seventh with a solo shot on the first pitch he saw: a fastball. The ball left the park completely. It went over the Monster and cleared it. The Royals had just changed pitchers, too.
And that, my friends, was the end of that. Gonzalez and Ellsbury, who didn’t even start, both went two for three. Papi and Pedroia both went four for five; three of Papi’s hits were doubles, and Pedroia was one homer shy of hitting for the cycle. He almost got it, too. That fly ball ended up staying in the park, but off the bat you thought it was going out. Together, Gonzalez, Pedroia, and Papi, the heart of the order, combined for six runs and eight RBIs on ten hits.
It was a long game, but it was a fun game. Like I said, we had some pitching performances that were bad. But as far as the lineup is concerned, that’s the way the Royals are supposed to be played.