They celebrated in the dugout after eighth-place hitter Adalberto Mondesi lined the first pitch from left-hander Josh Hader off the outfield wall for a long Tarvarius Moore Color Rush Jersey , two-run single with the bases loaded to take a 3-1 lead.
The hit was a turning point in a five-run seventh for the Royals, who held off the Milwaukee Brewers in the ninth for a 5-4 win on Wednesday.
”Score two runs and you can just kind of sense a sigh of relief from our offense, and then tacked on a couple more. It was good,” manager Ned Yost said.
The Royals scored more than four in a game for the first time since a 9-6 loss to the Angels on June 4. That 19-game stretch with four runs or fewer was the longest in the majors since the Baltimore Orioles went 21 straight in September 1992.
Danny Duffy (4-7) allowed five hits over six effective innings for the Royals, who split a two-game interleague series with the NL Central-leading Brewers.
The Royals called on Wily Peralta, a former Brewer, to close out the game after Brad Miller hit a three-run homer off reliever Tim Hill with nobody out in the ninth to get the Brewers within 5-4.
Eric Thames struck out before pinch-hitter Erik Kratz singled. Peralta then got Ryan Braun to bounce into a game-ending double play that was initially ruled as a fielder’s choice before the call was overturned on review.
Peralta said he felt a little extra sense of satisfaction in turning away the Brewers for his second save.
”There’s always a little bit of adrenaline going when you face your former team,” the right-hander said.
Mike Moustakas opened the seventh with a solo shot off Brent Suter (8-5) to tie the game at 1-all. Moustakas and Whit Merrifield each had two hits and an RBI.
Kansas City, which was hitting .188 in June coming into the game, got to the hard-throwing Hader. He allowed all three runners he inherited to score.
Hader also gave up one earned run on his own, along with two hits in two-thirds of an inning.
”They jumped on the first pitch and we’ve seen that a lot lately, but he’s been so effective that obviously multiple hits in an inning is something we haven’t seen,” manager Craig Counsell said. ”They got him today.”
Brewers: Suter, who made a great defensive play in the fifth, allowed six hits and four runs with six strikeouts before leaving with the bases loaded and nobody out in the seventh. He retired the first 11 batters.
”We’re battling and not really making it easy on our opponents. Even in our losses, we’re making the other team work a lot Kentavius Street Color Rush Jersey ,” Suter said.
Royals: Duffy struck out seven and walked two. The left-hander has a 2.52 ERA over his past four starts.
AGUILAR GOES FAR
Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar hit a solo shot in the sixth off Duffy for his team-leading 18th homer. He has homered in back-to-back games for the fourth time this season.
Royals: RHP Justin Grimm was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 24 with what they club said was right shoulder impingement syndrome. Grimm (1-3), who is making his second trip this year to the DL, would be eligible to return on July 4 against Cleveland. RHP Jason Adam was called up from Triple-A Omaha to replace Grimm in the bullpen. … C Salvador Perez left the game with nobody out and two on in the top of the ninth after a foul ball off the bat of Brad Miller ricocheted off his upper right leg. He was replaced by Drew Butera.
Brewers: 3B Travis Shaw was held out of the lineup for a second straight day to rest his sore right wrist. ”And then tomorrow, we’ll take a hard look at how he’s feeling,” Counsell said.
Royals: After a day off in Seattle, Ian Kennedy (1-7) opens a three-game series on Friday against the Mariners.
Brewers: Junior Guerra (3-5) pitches the opener of a four-game series in Cincinnati. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA at Great American Ball Park.
Despite winning just five games and missing the playoffs for the 10th consecutive season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers feel they’re progressing under Dirk Koetter.
Koetter is the coach the Bucs are betting on to help quarterback Jameis Winston realize his potential in 2018. That’s a bit of a surprise considering ownership’s lack of patience with predecessors hired to change the team’s fortunes.
The Bucs have made four coaching changes during a decade-long playoff drought. Raheem Morris was fired after three seasons, while Greg Schiano and Lovie Smith exited with losing records after two years.
The Glazer family met last week with general manager Jason Licht, who informed Koetter two days before a 31-24 season-ending victory over New Orleans that the coach would retain his job despite the Bucs (5-11) taking a step back after going 9-7 in 2016.
”Again, I am very appreciative of the Glazer family. They are going to give me and my staff the opportunity to come back and fix the things that we didn’t do good enough this year … and I do think it took courage,” Koetter said.
”Just look around the league. There are (situations) that surprise you the way they went, and there are other ones that surprise you the way they didn’t go,” Koetter added.
”I’m sure plenty of people are surprised by this, but I appreciate the opportunity, and we are going to do our best to fix it.”
The Glazers are sticking with Koetter despite rumors about of a possible rift between the coach and Winston, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft.
The 23-year-old quarterback missed three games with a shoulder sprain that also hampered Winston during a four-week stretch in which he tried to play through the injury.
Winston returned to the lineup in December and played well down the stretch.
The third-year pro denied his relationship with Koetter had deteriorated and that he’s happy the coach will get a chance to build on the progress the Bucs have made.
”He truly deserves that. You could just see this locker room and how we kept fighting for him Harrison Phillips Color Rush Jersey ,” Winston said. ”Our coach comes to work every single day, and he is so consistent. His message is always the same. He expects a lot from us and he holds us accountable.”
Takeaways from a disappointing season:
INCONSISTENCY: In addition to stopping a five-game losing streak, the Bucs avoided going winless in the NFC South by beating the division champion Saints to close the season. The team lost 10 of 13 after a 2-1 start, including five of six down the stretch. They went 3-7 in games decided by a touchdown or less.
While injuries were a factor, red zone scoring difficulties, as well as the absence of a consistent pass rush and productive running game, held them back, too.
”Score more points – that is one issue,” Koetter said. ”The No. 2 biggest issue is we can’t get pressure with a four-man rush. I’m not telling anybody any big secrets here. Those were our two biggest things that need to be addressed.”
WINSTON’S GROWTH: With 11,636 passing yards, Winston has thrown for more yards than any player in his first three NFL seasons except Andrew Luck (12,957) and Peyton Manning (12,287). He remains a turnover machine, though. He threw for 19 TDs this season, giving him 69 in his career, but he also had 11 interceptions and lost 10 fumbles in 13 games.
”Turnovers are the No. 1 thing that get you beat. … Jameis knows that Taron Johnson Color Rush Jersey ,” Koetter said. ”It’s definitely something that has to be corrected.”
WE BELIEVE: The Bucs set club records for pass attempts (605), completions (378), yards per attempt (7.61), net passing yards (4,366), total first downs (352) and passing first downs (243).
”Let me tell you something: When we’re healthy, we can beat the heck out of anybody. … This offense works,” Winston said.
QUITE A START: With five catches for 55 yards in the finale, WR Mike Evans joined A.J. Green and Randy Moss as the only players in league history to begin their careers with four consecutive seasons with 1,000 yards receiving. He finished with 71 receptions for 1,001 yards and five TDs.
MOVING FORWARD: Change is inevitable, however don’t anticipate a massive overhaul for next season. Koetter stands by his assertion during training camp that the Bucs are talented enough to win consistently. He has no intentions to stop calling offensive plays, and there’s no indication that defensive coordinator Mike Smith is on his way out.
”I’ll stand by my comment that it is the most talent that we have had,” Koetter said. ”Getting that talent to score enough points and rush the passer enough is what we didn’t do.”