Thursday, July 31, 2008

Game 109: Kansas City @ Oakland

Game Date: July 30, 2008
Royals 4, A's 3 / Box Score
WP: Ramirez (2-1), LP: Street (2-4), SV: Soria (30)
Royal Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 50-59

Just when you think the season is on the brink of ruin for these guys, they do something they haven't done in 20 years--they pull off a sweep in Oakland.

As is so often the case with this ball club, some rather bizarre events took place during this game. Alex Gordon drew five walks (one of which was intentional)--a new Royals record for one game. Two more uncaught pop ups dropped in against the Royals. Mike Aviles failed to get a bunt down in the tenth inning with two guys on and nobody out and ended up doubling later in the at bat. And Jose Guillen played even though he "could hardly walk" (wait, that's an everyday occurrence) and still fought bravely through his injury, putting himself in a position to hit a sacrifice fly in the tenth inning that was deep enough to get a run home and give the Royals the lead that turned into a win.

Brian Bannister wasn't great, but he was good enough. He gave up two earned runs on eight hits and four walks, throwing 111 pitches in five innings. He also had a career-high seven strikeouts. It'd be nice to see Banny get back on track. During the game Denny Matthews said that it was an important start for Bannister, and we all know what that means--his spot in the rotation continues to be in jeopardy.

Joakim Soria picked up his 30th save of the season; he saved all three games in Oakland.

The Royals have an off day today. They begin a nine-game home stand tomorrow night and it won't be easy. They open with three games against the White Sox; then host Boston for three; and finally, the Twins for three more. Then they will head to Chicago and New York. So, August is looking brutal.

Tomorrow night, Luke Hochevar (6-8, 5.38) will go up against Javier Vazquez (7-9, 4.73). Hochevar is 0-0 in his career against the White Sox with a 4.00 ERA in 9.0 IP. Vazquez is 6-2 against the Royals with a 3.25 ERA in 74.2 IP.

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