Austin Schuster – 23 Sports

The Royals came into their four-game series with the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on Monday with a six game losing streak. After Monday night’s opening game of the series, that number increased to seven. Now, they are riding a three game win streak.

The Royals were confident that Monday night would be the night they ended their skid, as their ace, Brad Keller, was on the mound. Unfortunately, he struggled, giving up four earned runs on eight hits through 6.2 innings. He was no match for Indians starter Zach Plesac, who pitched seven innings, only allowing one run, a solo homer by Adalberto Mondesi in the seventh inning. Maikel Franco, who finished the night 3 for 4, drove in Hunter Dozier with an RBI single in the eighth inning, but it wasn’t enough, as the Indians won 5-2. 

Jakob Junis started Tuesday night’s game for the Royals opposite rookie Triston McKenzie. Junis struggled early, however, giving up five runs, all by homers, through 4.1 innings. Luckily, the Royals’ offense bailed him out. Whit Merrifield hit his eighth homer of the year to start the scoring in the third inning, A combination of small ball, which recalls the team’s 2014 slogan of “keep the line moving” would result in an 8-6 victory for Kansas City. Royals’ Greg Holland pitched two scoreless innings of relief to earn the victory, pushing his record to 3-0 this year and Scott Barlow slammed the door on a potential Cleveland rally to record his second save of the year. 

Danny Duffy and Carlos Carrasco turned in quite the pitchers’ duel on Wednesday. Duffy pitched 5.2 innings of shutout ball for the boys in blue, while Carrasco went 7 strong, allowing only one run. Ultimately, Mondesi singled home Cam Gallagher in the 6th inning for the first run of the game. The game remained 1-0 until the final frame, when newcomer Edward Olivares tripled in Alex Gordon, and Nicky Lopez singled in Olivares. Greg Holland recorded his 3rd save of the year, and the Royals won 3-0.

Rookie Brady Singer would then deliver a fantastic start for the series finale opposite Cleveland righty Aaron Civale. Singer took a no-hitter into the eighth, completing eight shutout innings, allowing only one hit to Austin Hedges. The offense truly came alive as well, as home runs were hit by Olivares, his third, Franco, his seventh, and Mondesi, his second of the season and series, and the Royals won 11-1, taking the series 3 games to 1.

After getting a desperately needed series win over Cleveland, the 17-28 Royals now head back to The K for a 3-game weekend set with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are 14-27. Rookie Kris Bubic gets the start Friday night at 7:05pm against lefty Steven Brault. Then, on Saturday at 6:05pm, rookie Carlos Hernandez makes his first ever MLB start alongside Trevor Williams. The teams will then close out the series on Sunday at 1:05pm with Brad Keller facing off against Chad Kuhl.

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