After a less than ideal start, the Kansas City Royals have won four straight games to get back to .500 on the season. The team has been firing on all cylinders lately, as they seem to have finally found their identity.
A strong outing by pitcher Ian Kennedy gave Alcides Escobar the chance to hit a single in the ninth, driving in Raul Mondesi for the game-winning run. Kennedy finished with 111 pitches, walking two through eight innings, completing his 13th double-figure strikeout game. He didn’t allow a hit until C.J. Cron’s double with two outs in the fifth. Later, Cliff Pennington singled with two outs in the eighth for the Angels’ other hit.
The Angels’ pitcher Tyler Skaggs was nothing short of dominant as well. The left-hander threw seven shutout innings and struck out nine while only allowing four hits. However, the Angels bullpen gave the Royals just enough to execute the victory.
Escobar Walks Off
It all started with a lead-off single from Salvador Perez in the ninth. Pinch runner Raul Mondesi stole second and went to third on a wild pitch from Blake Parker. After giving up a walk to Mike Moustakas, Angels’ reliever Cam Bedrosian was able to get Paulo Orlando to foul out. Alcides Escobar then followed with a game-winner.
The Royals’ rotation has had success lately after a gem of a performance by Jason Vargas. The pitching has appeared to be contagious. In the last four games, Royals starting pitchers Jason Vargas, Danny Duffy, Nathan Karns and Ian Kennedy have a combined 0.63 ERA. They’ve only allowed two runs on 13 hits over 28 2/3 innings.