Miller made his first start since the arrival of Bedard due to the doubleheader earlier this week, which threw off our rotation order. It was pretty good. It was short, but it was good. It got the job done. And for someone who’s not a regular, that’s could have been much more difficult considering he hadn’t started in almost a month. That’s why we get to praise him even though he was facing the Royals, which means you should be expecting a top performance anyway.
He only tossed five and a third innings, but he gave up only one run on three hits. He walked two and struck out three. He threw eighty-three pitches, fifty for strikes. Equally impressive if not more so was Aceves, who finished off the entire rest of the game by himself for a three-and-two-third-inning save. That’s one of the longest saves I’ve ever seen. It was scoreless with one hit, one walk, and three K’s. With that mix, I almost think that maybe he should have started and Miller made the save.
The first three innings were torturous to watch. In the first, after two groundouts, the bases were loaded for Lavarnway, who ended the inning with yet another groundout. We went down in order in the second. And the bases were again loaded for Lavarnway in the third, who again ended the inning. The Royals struck first with that run in the third. The run scored on a sac fly, which was the reason why the inning did not yield more damage. He pretty much ran that ball down as far as it could possibly have been run down. He was running so fast that he needed all of the remaining space to the wall just to slow down, turn, and fire it back into the infield. By the time he delivered the throw, there literally was no more space left. I’m just glad he didn’t collide with the wall.
And that was where our struggles stopped. They just stopped. That run was the only run the Royals were going to get. We stole the show for the rest of the game.
Crawford led off the fourth with a double and scored on a triple by McDonald, who scored on a sac fly by Ellsbury.
After two singles, one of which was Lavarynway’s first Major League hit, and a flyout in the fifth, Salty hit an absolutely enormously powerful home run. It was a changeup that he sent soaring to left. He just massively unleashed to a ridiculous degree. It was huge. What made it even better was that, if you watch his swing in slow motion, you can see that he basically one-handed it. That is one powerful man.
Lavarnway proved to be the inning-ending out in the sixth again. We went down in order in the seventh. Then Ellsbury was hit in the back to lead off the eighth; he left the game in the bottom of the inning with soreness but nothing serious, which is obviously a substantial relief. Aviles doubled. Ellsbury scored on a sac fly by Gonzalez, and Aviles scored on a fielding error.
And then we were done. The final score was 7-1. Aviles went two for five, Lowrie went three for four, and Gonzalez, who broke out of his 0-for-14 slump in a big way, also went three for four with two doubles. Good things. Good things all around. That’s all there is to it.