Kansas City’s Royals were 2-8 in their last 10 with four straight losses coming into the series opener with the Washington Nationals tonight, and the Nats were 8-2 in their last 10 with a four-game winning streak, so of course the visitor took a 4-2 lead into the ninth inning with a chance to snap their losing streak, but the home team rallied to tie it on an RBI double by Ryan Zimmerman and an RBI single by Brian Dozier, 4-4.
It went to extras, and the Royals won it in the 11th, scoring three runs with Jonny Venters on the mound... 7-4 final.
Going 3 for 12 with RISP and 19 LOB is not great.
Don’t worry, the Expos will even things up tomorrow...
Voth vs KC: After giving up six hits, two walks, and three earned runs in 4 1⁄3 IP on the road in Detroit’s Comerica Park last time out, both Austin Voth and his manager, Davey Martinez, said the right-hander struggled with his command but battled when he didn’t have his best stuff.
“He went out there and he competed, he just didn’t have his command today,” Martinez told reporters after the 7-5 loss to the Tigers.
“Definitely felt like I battled with the stuff that I had,” Voth said, but he wasn’t at his best.
Voth looked sharp early tonight, with two scoreless on 39 pitches, but back-to-back hits in the top of the second inning, a single by Whit Merrifield and an RBI triple by Adalberto Mondesi, tied it up at 1-1 after the Nationals had jumped out to an early lead. Alex Gordon followed with an RBI line drive to left and the Royals took the lead, 2-1.
Voth held the visiting team there through four, but a 31-pitch third pushed him up to 84 on the night, and a one-out double and walk in the top of the fifth inning ended his outing at 96 pitches overall...
Austin Voth’s Line: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 6 Ks, 96 P, 60 S, 3/0 GO/FO.
Keller vs D.C.: Royals’ right-hander Brad Keller, 23, snapped a six-start winless streak last time out before tonight, in spite of the fact that he gave up eight hits and six earned runs over five innings of work in that outing.
In 18 starts overall coming into the series opener in Nationals Park, Keller was (4-9) with a 4.63 ERA, 50 walks, 75 Ks, and a .250/.344/.386 line against in 105 IP. He fell behind early, like three pitches in early, when Trea Turner jacked a 2-0 fastball, sending it over the left field bullpen for his 7th home run of 2019 and a 1-0 lead.
Keller gave up five hits and three walks after Turner’s leadoff blast, but stranded all of the runners to reach base after falling behind early, and he had a 4-1 lead after he stranded a one-out walk in a 14-pitch fifth which left him at 96 pitches overall.
Brian Dozier and Yan Gomes took one and two-out walks, respectively, in the bottom of the sixth, and Keller was done after 111 pitches...
Brad Keller’s Line: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 Ks, 1 HR, 111 P, 61 S, 8/3 GO/FO.
HR Streak: Davey Martinez’s squad went into tonight’s series opener against the Royals with a streak of 18-straight games in which they’d hit a home run. They had hit 32 total in those 18 games, with 10 players: Matt Adams (7), Anthony Rendon (6), Juan Soto (5), Kurt Suzuki (4), Brian Dozier (3), Victor Robles (3), Yan Gomes (1), Howie Kendrick (1), Gerardo Parra (1), and Trea Turner (1) chipping in to keep the streak going.
Three pitches in tonight the Nationals had a streak of 19-straight games with a homer after Trea Turner hit a 2-0 fastball from Royals’ righty Brad Keller out to left field.
BULLPEN ACTION: Javy Guerra took over for Voth with two on and one out in the Royals’ half of the fifth, and the runners, Adalberto Mondesi and Alex Gordon, pulled a stand-up double steal with Hunter Dozier at the plate.
Mondesi scored on an RBI single by Dozier, 3-1, before an RBI single by Jorge Soler drove Gordon in, 4-1.
Guerra came back out for the sixth and retired the Royals in order in a six-pitch frame.
Royals’ righty Kevin McCarthy came on with two on and two out in the Nationals’ half of the sixth and gave up a base-loading single by Howie Kendrick, but Trea Turner sent a one-hop grounder back to the mound to end the threat... still 4-1 Royals.
Matt Grace, in his first appearance since June 22nd, retired the side in order in an eight-pitch top of the seventh.
McCarthy returned to the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning and gave up leadoff and one-out walks by Adam Eaton and Juan Soto, respectively, and Ryan Zimmerman got hold of a 2-1 sinker and lined it to left to drive in a run, 4-2, and collect his 1,000 career RBI.
Brian Dozier stepped in next and K’d swinging at a 2-2 change outside, so the Royals went to lefty Tim Hill and the Nationals countered with Victor Robles for Gerardo Parra.
Hill hit Robles on his first pitch loading the bases, and Matt Adams came on against a new pitcher, Jake Newberry, and K’d swinging to end the Nationals’ half of the inning.
Grace worked around a leadoff single in a scoreless eighth.
Jake Diekman retired two batters before issuing the third walk of the night to Adam Eaton (1 for 2, 3 BBs). Anthony Rendon stepped in with a chance to tie it, and lined out to right field.
Wander Suero worked around a two-out walk for a scoreless top of the ninth.
Ian Kennedy came on for the save opportunity and gave up a leadoff single by Juan Soto, and an RBI double to left by Ryan Zimmerman, 4-3. Brian Dozier got to a 2-2 count and hit one out to right-center for a game-tying single, 4-4. Victor Robles bunted Dozier over to second base/gave up an out. Kurt Suzuki got the intentionals, bringing Adrián Sanchez to the plate with the winning run on second base... but he went down swinging for out No. 2, leaving it up to Trea Turner, who lined out to right. On to extras...
Fernando Rodney gave up a two-out double by Billy Hamilton and threw a wild pitch in the next at bat to move the potential go-ahead run to third, but stranded him there with a K on a 98 MPH 2-2 fastball to Cheslor Cuthbert that had otherworldly, late, darting action. Still 4-4.
Adam Eaton singled off righty Brian Flynn to start the Nationals’ 10th. With the bench empty Stephen Strasburg got a pinch hit opportunity and a balk moved Eaton to second when the first baseman, Whit Merrifield, moved off first as the Royals threw over.
Strasburg bunted Eaton over to third. Juan Soto got the intentionals, bringing up Ryan Zimmerman, who popped out unproductively to short. Brian Dozier? Base-loading walk.
Victor Robles stepped in with the bases loaded and two out and grounded into a force at second.
Jonny Venters gave up back-to-back singles by Nicky Lopez and Martín Maldonado, and a HBP on Terrance Gore loaded the bases with no one out. Whit Merrifield K’d swinging for out No. 1, but Adalberto Mondesi hit one through short to make it a 5-4 game, and two more scored on an errant throw home by Ryan Zimmerman on a grounder to first, 7-4.
Wily Peralta threw a scoreless bottom of the eleventh to end it, working around a two-out hit by Trea Turner...
Nationals now 45-42