Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Royals Pound Wakefield

Game Date: July 17, 2007
Royals 9, Red Sox 3 / Box Score
WP: Gobble (4-1), LP: Wakefield (10-9)
Royal Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 40-53

The Royals reached their 40th win last season on August 9. They played the Red Sox in Kansas City and beat them 5-4 in thrilling fashion. Mike Sweeney hit a two-out single to left field in the bottom of the ninth to produce the first walk-off win for the Royals last season.

Fast forward a season. The Royals picked up their 40th win of this season against the Red Sox, but they did it three weeks earlier than last season. While they've certainly got a long way to go, the Royals currently have a better record than Tampa Bay, Washington, Cincinnati, Houston, and San Francisco. They're tied with Pittsburgh and closing in on Texas and the White Sox. Considering all of the comparisons to the 1899 Cleveland Spiders last season, you've got to be happy with the progress.

Leo Nunez pitched better than anybody could have expected tonight. He pitched into the fifth inning (which is about what the Royals were hoping), giving up just one earned run on six hits. Jimmy Gobble, Zack Greinke, Joel Peralta, and Joakim Soria closed the door on the Red Sox--giving up just two earned runs over the final five innings.

The Royals had no problem scoring against Tim Wakefield. They pounded him for six earned runs on nine hits in 6.1 innings. Billy Butler got the ball rolling in the fourth inning with a two-run double to left. Tony Pena doubled in Alex Gordon in the fifth. The Red Sox got a run in the fifth, but in the seventh, the Royals went nuts scoring five times on hits by John Buck, Mark Grudzielanek, Ross Gload, and Pena. The score was 8-1 Royals by the time the seventh inning was over.

Tomorrow night, the Royals will try to win the series by sending Odalis Perez (4-8, 5.68) against Julian Tavarez (5-7, 5.15). Perez is 0-2 with a 4.07 ERA against the Red Sox in his career. Tavarez is 3-1 against the Royals with a 5.76 ERA.

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