July 20, 2019

By Fred Liggett

The weather in Kansas City this past week has been pretty hot, so hot that a heat advisory was posted for the area. Perhaps Major League Baseball will announce an advisory for the Kansas City Royals who have been pretty hot since the All Star break. The Royals have won 6 out of 7 games and swept a four-game series from a division rival to begin the second half of the season.

The Royals, at 30-61, came out of the All Star break knowing their first 10 games would be against AL Central division rivals. Kansas City began to make up ground against the teams ahead of them in the division by taking 2 of 3 from the Detroit Tigers. Then the Chicago White Sox came to town for four games during the work week. The series opener on Monday saw a strong pitching performance from starter Jakob Junis as he fanned a career high 10 batters in what turned out to be a Royals 5-2 victory.

Tuesday night saw the two teams return to action on what was called a T-shirt Tuesday for Royals fans who got a free Royals T-shirt when they entered the stadium. Once in their seats Royals fans liked what they saw from the home team as they witnessed another strong pitching performance this time from starter Glenn Sparkman. Sparkman recorded his first career complete game in a memorable 11-0 Royals win. The Royals haven’t seen a complete game shutout since Jason Vargas did it against Cleveland back on June 2, 2017. The big hit on this night came off the bat of AL all-star Whit Merrifield who hit an inside the park home run in the fourth inning. On the day Merrifield won a Heart & Hustle award from Major League Baseball he hustled around all the bases for his first career inside-the-park homer.

Veteran left hander Danny Duffy got in on the fun the next night pitching the KC Royals to another win over Chicago, this one ending 7-5. The weather was scorching hot on Thursday afternoon the series finale with Chicago. The Royals remained hot too as they came back from a 3-0 deficit to win the game 6-5 and sweep the series. Pitcher Brad Keller picked up his sixth win on the season in this win.

After a seven-game home stand that saw the Royals win six of them they hit the road this weekend to Cleveland to face the Indians. The Royals will attempt to remain hot as they start lefty Mike Montgomery in the first game of the series. Montgomery will be making his 2019 debut with the team as he recently came to KC in a trade for catcher Martin Maldonado. The Royals and Indians play again at 6:10 p.m. on Saturday night with the series finale at noon on Sunday. The Royals leave KC with a record of 36-62 good enough for fourth place in the American League Central Division.