Blanton picks up first win in two years as Royals beats Brewers 10-2
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Joe Blanton's victory drought is over.
Blanton picked up his first victory in nearly two years with five solid innings and Alcides Escobar equaled his career high with four RBIs as the Kansas City Royals pounded the Milwaukee Brewers 10-2 on Wednesday night.
Blanton (1-0) had not won since June 29, 2013, while with the Los Angeles Angels against Houston. He limited the Brewers to one run and five hits. The 34-year-old right-hander struck out four and walked none, throwing a season-high 73 pitches.
"I don't know exactly how long, but it's been awhile," Blanton said. "At one point, it feels like a long way back. You think you have lost it. You just don't know. I fixed some mechanical things and fortunate enough to be back."
Blanton, who made seven relief appearances after beginning the season in the minors, was making his first major league start since July 22, 2013. He finished that season with a 2-14 record and 6.04 ERA and was released by the Angels in spring training 2014 and did not pitch in the majors that year.
"It's not ideal," Blanton said. "I wouldn't recommend it, not really what you want to do, taking a year off. But in hindsight, it turned out to be a pretty good thing for me."
Ryan Madson, who had not pitched in the majors since 2011, relieved Blanton in the sixth.
"Quite frankly, when you get to spring training and you look at Joe Blanton and Ryan Madson, you think, 'OK, well, these guys had good careers, but do they have anything left?'" Royals manager Ned Yost said. "It was real evident in spring training early that they both had a lot left in their tank."
Escobar tripled with the bases loaded in a four-run eighth. He also singled home a run in a three-run second. It was his third four-RBI game.
Lorenzo Cain, who homered the past two games in Milwaukee, tripled, doubled, walked twice, drove in a run and scored a run, extending his hitting streak to eight games. Cain's triple in a three-run fifth scored Kendrys Morales.
With the victory, Ned Yost ties Whitey Herzog as the winningest manager in Royals history at 410 wins.
Right-hander Mike Fiers (3-7) took the loss, giving up six runs on eight hits and three walks in five innings.
"We just didn't get much going all night," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Mike wasn't sharp tonight. They put good at-bats on you and put the ball in play. He only had two strikeouts, which is a low number for him."
The Brewers have lost five straight.
Brewers: OF Carlos Gomez, who sat out the previous two games with tightness in his right leg, was the DH and had two of the Brewers' six hits.
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy (left biceps tendinitis) made a rehab start Wednesday for Triple A Omaha, throwing 40 strikes in 65 pitches in 3 2/3 innings against Iowa. He allowed two runs on three hits, including a home run, walked none, hit a batter and struck out six.
Brewers: LHP Jimmy Nelson gave up a career-high 10 hits in five innings in his previous start, a 7-2 loss to the Nationals.
Royals: RHP Jeremy Guthrie, who starts the series finale, is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his past three home starts.
INFANTE VOTE PUZZLING
Royals 2B Omar Infante moved to the top of the AL All-Star voting at his position, although he is hitting .227. Yost acknowledged Jason Kipnis of the Indians and Jose Atuve of the Astros are having "great" seasons. "If you don't like it, get out and vote," Yost said. "Cleveland fans, vote for your man. Houston fans, vote for your man. I'm not in charge of voting."
The Wednesday crowd of 33,420 pushed the Royals' season total to more than 1 million after 31 home dates. That is the earliest in franchise history to reach a million.
ROYALS SIGN TOP PICK
First-round draft pick RHP Ashe Russell signed with the Royals and will be assigned to their Burlington (North Carolina) club in the Appalachian League.