Kansas City wins only their second walk-off win of the season and it was aided by the long ball.
Kansas City was not able to get any kind of offense going in the first six innings. Mackenzie Gore had a great outing. He only allowed three baserunners throughout the first six innings. After two solo home runs in the seventh and eighth innings, Michael Massy was the hero in the ninth inning. It was his first career walk-off hit.
Kansas started their comeback in the seventh inning. MJ Melendez hit an over-the-middle four-seam fastball out of the park. He powered the ball to left field 417 feet.
Royals manager Matt Quatraro said Melendez worked through a few at-bats before taking advantage of a bad pitch.
“MJ had a couple tough at-bats before that,” Quatraro said. “Being able to, I believe that was with two strikes to hit it opposite field that’s impressive power. Four hundred and something feet.”
Kansas City would tie the game in the eighth inning with another solo home run off the bat of Edward Olivares. Olivares took advantage of a slider that had a lot of spin but had no horizontal movement. He sent the ball 452 feet. His home run ball hit the left field scoreboard breaking a second of the screen.
Quatraro said Olivares was ready to swing at anything close to the plate.
“Oli was ready to hit,” Quatraro said. “You saw a couple of his other at-bats where he was ready to hit early took aggressive swings and then he expanded the zone the at-bats before but to still be ready to hit right there on the first pitch was very impressive.”
Kansas City got their go-ahead run on base following a comedy of errors by the Nationals. Melendez hit a ball right at the first baseman who allowed the ball to go under near his glove and in between his legs. The ball rolled out into the right field. Lane Thomas could not get a good grip on the ball and was late getting the throw into second base. With two outs in the ninth, that is when Massy was able to drive in the game-winning run.
Daniel Lynch gets his first start of the season. Lynch started the season on the IL due to a shoulder injury. After a long process of rehab and starts in the minor league Lynch was able to have a solid outing. He was the first Royals starting pitcher to record an out in the sixth inning since Zack Greinke did it over a week ago.
Lynch went five and a third inning only allowing two runs. Lynch ran up his pitch count ending his day with 95 pitches on the day.
The most taxing inning for Lynch was the fourth. The inning started with a quick ground out to second. Dominic Smith worked a seven-pitch at-bat to single to center field. He would come home to score on a double hit to left field. The double was nearly a homerun as it hit the top of the outfield wall to bounce back into the ballpark.
It would not matter though as Michael Chavs would single to center field after working a seven-pitch at-bat of his own. After walking the next batter Lynch struck out the next two batters. Despite only allowing two runs Lynch had to throw 34 pitches.
The Royals head to St.Louis for another rendition of the I-70 series. Kansas City will face the Cardinals in a two-game set.