Coming out of the MLB trade deadline, the new-look Royals returned to Kansas City with a scrappy, young roster — featuring seven rookie position players — and a whole lot of good vibes. But they were also set to welcome three playoff-contending teams to Kauffman Stadium for the longest homestand of the season.
As the dust settled on an 11-game stretch that included series with the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers, the Royals (48-68) walked away having won two of the three series and seven of 11 games during homestand.
While they didn’t take the final series from the Dodgers, a World Series favorite with the best record in the majors, they won the final game and snapped the Dodgers’ win streak at 12 games behind a spectacular pitching performance from Brady Singer.
“We’re good too,” Royals star catcher Salvador Perez said of the team’s performance during the homestand. “We showed who we can be. We’ve just got to be consistent. Do what we do on this homestand. Hopefully when we’re in Minnesota, continue to do what we do. Play hard. Compete. And see what happens tomorrow.”
The Royals’ record of 7-4 during the homestand marked their most wins on a homestand since they went 7-1 from Aug, 24-Sept. 2, 2018. And Royals rookies drove in 42 of the 57 runs (73.7%) during the homestand.
The Royals bounced back against the Dodgers after having been routed on Saturday night in a 13-3 loss.
Their 4-0 win on Sunday, behind six one-hit innings from Singer, gave the Royals’ pitching staff its seventh shutout win of the season, with relievers Amir Garrett, Dylan Coleman and Scott Barlow (19th save) keeping the Dodgers’ offense stifled in the late innings.
“I think when you look at the homestand as a whole, it was a pretty successful one,” Royals rookie first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino said. “I think a lot of guys in this clubhouse are going to take a lot of pride in today’s win and a team that kind of, yesterday, handled us pretty good. We were able to come back on a quick turnaround and be able to get a win. So I think that was kind of a good morale thing for this team.”
Pasquantino, whose three hits Sunday included a home run, went 14 for 33 at the plate with two doubles and four home runs in nine games during the homestand.
Saturday night’s game also marked the largest crowd at Kauffman Stadium this season, with a large contingent of Dodgers fans contributing to the 29,689 attendance figure.
The Royals now head out on a seven-game road trip that includes three games in Minnesota against the AL Central-rival Twins followed by four games in St. Petersburg, Florida, against the Tampa Bay Rays.
“It was fun, having a lot of life and energy and the fans into it and excited about our club,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “It was good to show these guys too, show a really good team what kind of club we can be when we get things clicking.
“We showed it to them that first day a little bit too. I think they knew that they were in a fight. To come through with it today to cap off a really good homestand and have the kind of support that we’ve had here, it’s been a special homestand.”