Royals complete sweep of Reds with 4-3 win
CINCINNATI (AP) Four hits in one game is nothing new to Ben Zobrist.
Seeing a team mess up an Infield Fly Rule situation? That's another story.
The Kansas City second baseman watched as the Cincinnati Reds committed a key baserunning gaffe, helping the Royals beat the Reds 4-3 on Wednesday night to complete a two-game sweep.
Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie left in the fifth with the 4-3 lead and the bases loaded and one out. Luke Hochevar (1-0) got Jay Bruce to pop up along the first base line. Bruce was out under the Infield Fly Rule, but Jason Bourgeois tried to score when the ball dropped, and Hochevar threw to catcher Drew Butera, who easily tagged out Bourgeois to end the inning.
''I've never seen that before,'' said Zobrist, who had four hits for the eighth time in his career. ''That was interesting. I didn't know if they'd send him back to third or what. That was a heads-up play by Butera to make sure.''
Bourgeois reacted to seeing the ball drop, Reds manager Bryan Price said.
''We had some miscommunication on the infield fly,'' Price said. ''He knows the rule. It was just a reaction. He felt obliged to run.''
No Reds players were available when the clubhouse opened after the game.
Lorenzo Cain had a tiebreaking RBI single in the second inning, as the Royals completed a sweep of the four-game season series. The Royals have won five straight and the Reds have lost five straight.
Ryan Madson and Kelvin Herrera each turned in one scoreless relief inning before Wade Davis pitched the ninth for his 10th save.
Keyvius Sampson (2-2) gave up the four runs and nine hits in 3 1-3 innings. He walked two and struck out two in his fourth career start.
Zobrist and Eric Hosmer both had RBI hits in the first inning to extend hitting streaks, Zobrist to six games (13 for 23, .565) and Hosmer to 10 (13 for 38, .342).
Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips tied the score with back-to-back solo homers in the bottom of the inning, Votto's 22nd and Phillips' ninth before Zobrist's double set up Cain's two-run single.
''He kept the line moving all night long,'' manager Ned Yost said of Zobrist. ''He set up run-scoring opportunities.''
Eugenio Suarez cut the lead to 4-3 in the third with an RBI double to center field.
Guthrie lasted 4 1-3 innings, allowing seven hits and three runs with three walks, four strikeouts and a wild pitch.
The start of the game was delayed for 1 hour, 37 minutes by rain.
WORTH A LOOK
Salvador Perez's day off prompted Yost to try a lineup he hadn't used since his days managing Milwaukee. He batted Guthrie eighth and left fielder Jarron Dyson ninth. ''It gives us double leadoff guys,'' Yost said. ''We wrote it up both ways and this looked better.''
The Reds promoted RHP Sam LeCure from Triple-A Louisville. LeCure spent most of the previous five seasons with Cincinnati, including all of the last three, before surprisingly being cut in spring training. He blamed many of his problems on trying to be somebody he's not. ''I got out of who I was,'' he said. ''I'm not Aroldis Chapman. Once I got back to who I was, my stuff returned to normal, which is unremarkable but enough to get outs.''
Royals: INF Omar Infante was available to play Wednesday after being scratched from Tuesday's starting lineup with back spasms. Yost said he would try to give Infante one more day off and use him in Boston.
Reds: Phillips left the game after six innings with inflammation in his right biceps tendon.
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy (6-5, 4.03) starts the first game of Kansas City's four-game series at Boston's Fenway Park. The Royals are 8-2 in Duffy's 10 starts since he came off the DL on June 24.
Reds: LHP John Lamb (0-1, 7.50) is scheduled to make his second career start when the Reds open a four-game series against the Diamondbacks on Thursday.