The Kansas City Royals snapped a six-game losing streak as they beat the Boston Red Sox 5-3 at Kauffman Stadium.
Coming off a stretch where the Royals lost 11 of 12, they found a way to beat the team with the fourth-most wins in the MLB.
Kansas City improves to 31-37 on the season while the Red Sox fall to 42-28. Here's what I took away from the game.
Zimmer excelled as the opener.
The Royals called upon Kyle Zimmer to open the game and he did his job against a formidable Red Sox offense. Zimmer pitched two innings, allowing three hits, three strikeouts and zero runs. The former first-round pick has excelled out of the bullpen the last two seasons and has performed well in every role the Royals have asked him to fill. Zimmer's success could see the Royals going to an opener more often as it could take some of the stress off the young pitchers that come with starting a game.
Nicky Lopez is a wizard at second base.
Have a night Nicky Lopez. In just his second start at second base, Lopez made numerous plays to rob hits and end rallies for the Red Sox. Lopez nearly won the Gold Glove at second last year (and probably should have won) and is picking up right where he left off. There is no question, the Royals defense is much better with Lopez at second, Adalberto Mondesi at shortstop and Whit Merrifield in the outfield corners.
Lopez also reached base three times and has seen his slash line improve to .242/.339/.315. His OBP is second on the team.
The Royals played a clean game.
Not only had the Royals been losing games, but they had also been playing ugly. Most of their games were lost in the early innings. That was not the case tonight as the Royals played well in all three phases. The offense saw eight of the nine starters reach base, Perez and Mondesi both hit home runs and Merrifield ripped two doubles. The bullpen did its job with Greg Holland bouncing back to save the game and the defense made timely plays with zero routine errors. That's how you beat a 42-win team.