Four games in Baltimore with two wins and two four-run comebacks. Twos are wild. And four as well, we suppose. We had a big sixth inning last night. Seven runs big and it led to a 10-7 win.
After dropping two games in which they had their chances, the Royals bounced back to split the series with the Orioles and take a little momentum to Tampa for their showdown with the first-place Rays. For a look back on the series before we play our first-ever game against the Tampa Bay Rays (they had been the Devil Rays until this season), let’s go Around the Horn…
Since we’ve established that two is the number of the day, the Royals all-around “two guy,” the second baseman and typical No. 2 hitter is more than worth mentioning. Mark Grudzielanek posted his second four-hit game in five days. Last night he collected five total bases, Sunday he had six. Grudzielanek’s average is up to .315, which is ninth in the American League, and he has a five-game hitting streak, collecting 11 hits in 22 at-bats, a .500 batting average during the streak.
Grudzielanek has three 4-hit games this season and 31 in his career He is dominating lefties and at home (last night’s starter was a lefty and Sunday’s four-hitter was at home). He’s hitting .371 at home this season, good for third best in the A.L. and his .403 average against lefties is second best in the A.L.
Should we remind you, the guy turned 38 on Monday. Like Trey said, he sure isn’t playing like a 38-year-old.
So yesterday under Second, we mentioned two guys who are putting together big seasons for the Boys in Blue. Both helped the Royals to victory last night and both are worth mentioning again.
Jose Guillen knocked in three RBI last night and has 64. Emil Brown’s team-leading total last season was 62. For the record, Brown held the previous two year’s RBI highs with 81 in 2006 and 83 RBI in 2005. For a higher total than 83, you have to go back to 2003 when Carlos Beltran knocked in an even 100. So here’s to seeing just how high Guillen can go.
The other guy we mentioned? David DeJesus, who is on a mission at the plate right now. He tied a career high last night by hitting in his 15th straight game. To extend his streak, he knocked in Mark Teahen from third base – yet another hit with runners in scoring position. DeJesus leads the Majors with a .473 batting average with runners in scoring position.
Billy Butler is in the midst of a three-game hitting streak after a double and a home run last night, his second homer of the season and first since April 14 at Seattle…Tony Pena broke a span of 180 at-bats with his solo shot last night…Mark Grudzielanek is eight hits short of 2,000, so he may break that over the weekend with how he’s hitting, although with the artificial turf in Tampa, he may get a day or two off…Omaha’s Jason Smith was named to the Pacific Coast League’s All-Star team, the only O-Royal to make the squad…Joakim Soria is two saves shy of tying the Royals pre All-Star record of 25 set by Jeff Montgomery in 1993.
This is a little way out there, but the Royals were notified today that the August 2 game versus Chicago has been changed from a 6:10 start to a 2:55 start to allow for national coverage by the FOX network. The game will still be Military Appreciation Day with the first 20,000 fans receiving camouflage Royals caps.
Reminders: The Frank White special on FSN-KC will air after tonight’s game. Tomorrow’s game is on TV as a makeup for a previous rainout with pre-game starting at 5:30 p.m. CT.
Also: The Royals will sell View Level Infield seats for $12 during two games next weekend, donating $5 from each ticket to the American Red Cross on Friday July 11 and the Salvation Army on Saturday July 12..
Please have a safe and happy 4th of July.
Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.