The Royals’ offense is still lagging, but it did enough Wednesday night for the club’s first walk-off victory of the season.
Mike Moustakas drew his third walk of the night in the 11th inning, this one with the bases loaded, and Kansas City earned a 4-3 triumph over Milwaukee.
The Royals had seemed doomed to fall in regulation, trailing 3-1 with two out in the ninth. That’s when Alcides Escobar stroked a two-run triple to tie the score off Brewers closer John Axford.
It was just Escobar’s second triple of the season after he had eight last year. Escobar also singled and lifted his average to .292, which ranks second on the team to Billy Butler’s .301 mark. Butler had two hits, including the leadoff single in the 11th, which led to him scoring the winning run.
It was the first time the Royals won a game by scoring more than two runs since a 6-3 victory May 30 at Cleveland.
“We’ve been really focusing on our approach, a relaxed approach, and it showed,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost said.
The Royals managed 10 hits in 11 innings, but they were helped out by six walks issued by Milwaukee pitchers, including two in the 11th inning. Moustakas and Eric Hosmer combined to draw five walks.
— LHP Jonathan Sanchez threw 64 strikes in 96 pitches over five innings before being pulled with the Royals and Brewers tied at 1-1. Sanchez was making his first start since May 7, as he had been sidelined due to biceps tendinitis. Sanchez allowed seven hits, two of them doubles, walked two and struck out four. He also committed a balk. Sanchez made three rehab starts with Class AAA Omaha before being activated Wednesday.
— LHP Tim Collins worked a scoreless 11th inning, walking one and striking out one, to pick up the victory. Collins is 3-0 with a 2.10 ERA. He leads American League relievers with 44 strikeouts.
— RHP Luke Hochevar starts Thursday in the series finale as the Royals try to complete a sweep of the Brewers. Kauffman Stadium, however, has not been Hochevar’s favorite place to pitch this season. He is 0-4 with a 10.23 ERA in five home starts, allowing 30 hits and 25 earned runs in 22 innings, walking eight and striking out 17. Opponents are hitting .330 off him at Kauffman Stadium.
— RHP Louis Coleman was optioned to Class AAA Omaha when LHP Jonathan Sanchez came off the disabled list. Coleman had a 3.15 ERA in 16 relief appearances, allowing 14 hits in 20 innings, walking 12 and striking out 18.
— LHP Everett Teaford was activated from the 15-day disabled list and optioned to Class AAA Omaha. Teaford, who had been out with a lower abdominal strain, was 0-1 with a 5.73 ERA in three appearances, including one start, for Kansas City.
— INF Irving Falu, whom the Royals optioned to Class AAA Omaha on June 1, went 2-for-5 with a home run Wednesday in the Storm Chasers’ 5-2 victory at Iowa. Falu extended his hitting streak to 16 games and hiked his batting average to .360.
— Royals manager Ned Yost and trainer Nick Kenney were named as an American League coach and trainer for the All-Star Game, which will be played July 10 at Kansas City. This will be Kenny’s first All-Star Game. He is in his third season as the Royals’ head trainer.
BY THE NUMBERS:7-9 — Record for Royals relievers this year.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Our lineup is good enough that no one has to be the guy. If they’re not pitching to you, let the next guy do it, and we did a good job of that tonight.” — 1B Eric Hosmer, who drew two walks, including one in the 11th inning of the Royals’ 4-3 win over the Brewers.