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We doubled up the A’s and pulled of two sweeps in a day. The Royals played a lot of baseball (more than expected anyway) and brought home two wins.
With the Royals first sweep of a doubleheader since 2006 and first time sweeping the A’s twice in a season, we’ve got a lot of baseball to talk about, so let’s go Around the Horn…
Joey Gathright secured the Royals first win of the night with his walkoff and Ramon Ramirez put the finishing touches on victory #2 with his first career save. And just like that, the Royals completed their first doubleheader sweep since August 18, 2006 (which also happened to be against the A’s). The Royals took yesterday’s games 5-4 and 9-6. The ’06 games were 7-1 and 5-3.
With Tuesday’s win and the Boys in Blue’s first sweep in Oakland in 20 years back in July, the double-dip win gave the Royals a pair of sweeps versus the Athletics. It was the first time we’d broken out the brooms twice in a season since 1988.
K.C.’s offense was working yesterday, collecting 12 hits in Game 1 and 15 in Game 2. The 27 combined hits were the most since the Royals set a record on September 9, 2004 at Detroit with 33 hits during the two games. The Royals were particularly nasty to the A’s Game 2 starter. Lefty Dan Meyer exited the ballgame in the fourth and was charged with eight runs (seven earned). The Royals went 9-for-17 (.529) with three doubles, two triples and two sac flies against Meyer.
During both games yesterday, only one Royals’ starter failed to get a hit, with the charge being led by David DeJesus. The Royals outfielder collected a pair of three hit games, falling one hit shy of the franchise double-header record. He entered Game 1 with a .288 average and left Game 2 hitting .296, which is a considerable jump this late in the season. He became the first player in the Majors this season to have at least 3 hits in each games of a double dip.
Billy Butler also continued to dispense damage. His hitting streak is at 10 games and he smashed three doubles between the two games, scoring three times and knocking in three runs.
That will change tonight when Kila Ka’aihue, the Minor League power sensation, takes the field for the first time. K.K., as they call him, ran from first to second last night and even got his uniform dirty. But he entered the game as a pinch runner in the sixth for designated hitter Jose Guillen and never came up to bat.
Manager Trey Hillman asked Ka’aihue if he felt like he was ready for his Major League debut today and K.K. responded, “That happened last night.” Hillman smiled and said, “Are you ready for your first career start as a Major Leaguer?” Ka’aihue told him he thought he could handle that.
“He’s excited and ready,” Hillman told the press during the pregame press conference. Hillman told the media that each call-up was to evaluate the talent in that particular player. They weren’t just rewards for strong play in the minors – if that were the case, Around the Horn could make an argument for a few other guys. No, Hillman said they truly want to evaluate what they have in the September call-ups.
So K.K.’s evaluation kicks into full gear tonight. He’s slotted in at ninth, playing first base.
During Game 2, the No.1-5 hitters (David DeJesus, Esteban German, Mike Aviles, Jose Guillen and Billy Butler) went 12-for-22 (.545)…German and Aviles made some excitement in the Royals fourth when they hit back-to-back triples. Unfortunately, this feat is not a stat Around the Horn can research easily…Alex Gordon’s latest MRI showed healing, but the prognosis of a return is still uncertain…From Trey Hillman’s press conference: Joey Gathright said he was focused on where the third baseman was playing him during the Royals’ 10th yesterday. He saw Jack Hannahan was in tight and Gathright smacked a single by him and into left. Hillman said the fact the Gathright is noticing where defenses are playing him and then being able to adjust shows progress…Also: The hope is for Mitch Maier (on the DL with three facial fractures) to start taking batting practice again soon and possibly return to the lineup next weekend in Cleveland, the site of his injury…Finally: Omaha Royals manager Mike Jirschele also received a September call-up. He’s with the club to help in coaching the extra players and evaluate the players who played under him all summer.
There will be a pre-game party and concert, featuring sensation Christian Castro, Ugly Betty star Tony Plana, and local favorite Las Estrellas performing with Ram Tejano. The festivities are set for 4 p.m.
Packages are available for the event, with donations going to the Guadalupe Centers, Inc.
As part of the night’s fun, Tony Pena, Jr. bobbleheads will be given out to the first 20,000 fans in attendance.
Also: Be on the lookout for Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day on September 17, versus the Mariners.
Today’s Official Game Notes.