A nine-point margin of victory is the largest victory the Royals have had all year.
Kansas City’s offense showed up taking. They took advantage of scoring opportunities all game long. The top of the lineup showed off their abilities. MJ Melendez, Bobby Witt Jr. and Vinnie Pasquantino went six of thirteen on the day. They accounted for half of the Royals RBI’s, with five. Four of those came with two outs. Before this game, Kansas City was batting 1.63 on the year with two outs and runners in scoring position. The top of the order also scored four off runs. Once the Royals responded to the Rangers solo home run in the bottom of the first inning they never looked back. Kansas City scored 10 unanswered runs.
In the first inning, Brad Keller left a fastball up in the zone against Nathaniel Lowe. Lowe smashed the seventh pitch of the at-bat 430 feet to right center. After that inning, Keller found his grove shutting out the Rangers for the rest of the day.
Kansas City’s offense immediately picked up Keller by adding runs in the second inning. It started with Franmil Reyes hitting an infield single to the third base side of the pitcher’s mound. Olivares reaches base on another infield single. Nicky Lopez then tied the game with a short compact swing. Melendez then drove in two on a double to take a 3-1
Pasquantino showed off his power sending a ball 388-foot for a solo home run. The fastball stayed in the middle of the plate. That hit extended his on-base streak to nine straight games.
Kansas City scored for the third inning in a row with Melendez hitting a single to right field driving in Nicky Lopez. Whitt Jr. showed off his speed by hitting a triple.
Kansas City added more runs in the top of the seventh inning. Whitt. Jr started the inning off with another base hit to right field. Whitt Jr. stole second base and after Pasquantino walked Whitt Jr. took third. Isbel would walk to load the bases with only one out. Another round of scoring came when Reyes hit a high fastball to left field moving everyone 90 feet. Then Michael Massy hit a slider that hung over the plate to center field scoring two runs. The inning was capped off with Olivares hitting a single to center making the score 10-1 in favor of Kansas City.
While offensive players deserve plenty of credit for a 10-1 victory Keller deserves a lot of credit for his performance on the mound. Keller looked comfortable on the mound constantly attacking the strike zone and having a strong outing. He continues to improve every single outing. Keller went six and two-thirds innings. He finished the day with seven strikeouts and only one walk. He struck out guys with his fastball, curveball and sinker. Kansas City’s coaching staff has turned a potential draft bust into one of the best pitchers in the Royals lineup. Keller has solidified his position as an MLB starter. When Daniel Lynch comes back from the IL Kansas City will have some difficult choices to make.
Royals Manager Matt Quatraro said that Keller was efficient and commanding with his curveball.
“He was sharp,” Quatraro said. “I think after the first might have been twenty-plus pitches and every inning after that was really efficient 13,12, 14 pitches and the breaking ball was outstanding you could tell even when he was pulling the fastball a little bit he just get back in the count with the breaking ball and got bad swings.”
Keller is one of the reasons why Kansas City has one of the best ERA’s in all of baseball. The starting rotation for Kansas City has an ERA of 3.47 and they are getting five and two-thirds innings out of them.
Kansas City has a day off on Thursday. They are back in Kansas City Friday to kick off a six-game homestand starting with the Braves. First pitch is at 7:10.