The Royals started off 2019 on the right note Thursday.
The Kansas City Royals defeated the Chicago White Sox by a score of 5-3. Brad Keller tossed seven scoreless innings while giving up only two hits, leading Kansas City to a win at Kauffman Stadium.
The offense was led by shortstop Adalberto Mondesi, who became the second Royal in franchise history to hit two triples on Opening Day. (Tony Pena Jr. was the other in 2007).
Keller was able to rekindle the ace form he had last season. He walked one and struck out five. Keller threw 92 pitches, 55 of which were strikes while never allowing a baserunner past first base.
Speed, replays, and situational hitting were the keys to the Royals getting the win today.
Mondesi tripled into the right-field corner for the first hit of the day by the Royals. Third-base umpire Gabe Morales initially called Mondesi out, having signaled that he came off the base as he slid into third, but upon review the call got reversed.
With Mondesi on third and with nobody out, Gordon crushed a fly ball that fell a couple feet short of a two-run homer. However, Gordon did hit the ball deep enough for Mondesi to tag up and give the Royals a 1-0 lead.
Kansas City was not done. After Gordon got hit by a pitch in the sixth inning, Jorge Soler hit an RBI single on the ground into left field which brought home Whit Merrifield for the second run of the game.
Frank Schwindel, who made his major-league debut, hit a grounder that second baseman Yolmer Sanchez didn’t glove. The error allowed Gordon to score from second and pushed the Royals to a 3-0 lead with one out in the sixth.
The Royals’ runs in the seventh included an RBI triple from Mondesi — which tied a franchise record for triples in a season opener — and an RBI double by Soler.
Ian Kennedy appeared in relief for Keller in the eighth and pitched a scoreless inning but the bullpen went south after that. The Royals called on Wily Peralta, Jake Diekman, Kevin McCarthy and Brad Boxberger to close it out. The White Sox scored three runs in the ninth inning but it wasn’t enough as the Royals were able to close it out. It was a great win and hopefully the first of many more to come.