The Royals tied a franchise record – set two weeks ago – by hitting eight home runs in Sunday’s doubleheader sweep over Buhrow’s Brats, 11 – 6, and Silverman’s Rangers, 19 – 11, on field 2 at Spirit Park. Not only was the offense stellar on the frigid morning – recording 30 hits, 12 of which went for extra bases – but plate discipline was on full display as the Royals drew 10 bases on balls in the twin bill. After hitting four homeruns in the first game, the Royals’ power show performed an encore with four more in the nightcap as its consistent offensive machine lit up the scoreboard.
With a gentle 7 mph breeze blowing out to left field, hits were found throughout the lineup for the Royals, but the most devastating batter had to be cleanup hitter, Tim Kaminski, who went 5 for 6 with nine RBIs and three homeruns. Kaminski carried the Royals through the early innings, driving in six of his nine runs with two 3-run homeruns in the first inning of each game, and accounted for 14 of the Royals’ 30 recorded runs.
In the opener, with the game-time temperature of 30° F and a 26° wind chill, the Brats struck first in the top of the first inning, scoring four runs as the Royals battled a blinding sun. The 8:00 am sun was barely above the horizon midway behind the first base line, blanketing and blinding the entire left side of the infield and outfield. The Royals didn’t commit any errors in giving up the Brats’ four runs; they just couldn’t see the ball coming off the bat, and the Brats capitalized on it. The atypical half-inning for the Royals’ defense was plagued by two routine ground balls and one lazy flyball that simply couldn’t be seen with the glaring sun. So, in that sense, the Royals felt fortunate to go to the bottom of the first only down four.
Back-to-back bases on balls to Charles Lachman and Tommy Apligian preceded Kaminski’s first blast. The Royals tacked on one more when Liam Kilburn singled and came home on Brad Stanford’s clutch 2-out, RBI triple.
With the score tied up at 4 – 4, the top of the second started promising for the Brats as they had runners on first and second and only one out, when Brad Parr fielded a sharp grounder back to the mound and started the 1–6–3 double play to end the threat and the inning. In the bottom of the frame, back-to-back walks to Jorge Rivera and Tony Lowery preceded Charles’ RBI single to give the Royals their first lead of the day, 5 – 4.
The Brats tied it up in the top of the third before the Royals broke the game open in their half.
Darius Wu crushed a homerun to left centerfield to lead off the third, and put the Royals back in front 6 – 5. Kaminski singled and scored on Jon Kilburn’s RBI double. Stanford walked, putting runners at first and second, bringing Parr up to the plate. Parr then demolished a 2 – 2 pitch that landed 42 feet beyond the left centerfield fence for a 3-run homerun. The ball was hit so hard that it had not yet reached the top of its trajectory when it cleared the fence. 10 – 5.
In the top of the fourth – with the game's outcome still in question – Stanford made the defensive play of the year. The Brats had runners at first and second with only one out, when Daniel Buhrow stepped to the plate. Buhrow scorched a screaming liner headed toward center field that Stanford laid out to make a full extension, diving catch to rob Buhrow of a certain RBI hit. And then – to make the play even more spectacular – Stanford, on all fours, sprinted and leapt like a cheetah to tag second base with his glove – before the runner could safely return – to record the unbelievable 6–U double play.
After the Brats plated one in the top of the fifth to pull within four runs, Kaminski blasted his second homerun of the game to lead off the bottom of the fifth. Two batters later, time expired with Royals’ runners on first and second and nobody out.
Game 1 Offensive Stars
Tim Kaminski 3 – 3, 3 Runs, 4 RBI, 2 HR
Tae Lee 1 – 1, BB
Tony Lowery 1 – 1, BB
Jon Kilburn 2 – 3, 2 Runs, 1 RBI, 2B
Brad Parr 1 – 2, 1 Run, 3 RBI, HR
Brad Stanford 1 – 2, 1 Run, 1 RBI, BB, 3B
Charles Lachman 1 – 2, 1 Run, 1 RBI, BB
Liam Kilburn 1 – 2, BB
Darius Wu 1 – 3, 1 Run, 1 RBI, HR, GWRBI
In the nightcap, the bats remained on fire for the visiting Royals where the team as a whole collected 19 runs on 18 hits in just five innings. Just like in game 1, instead of drawing back-to-back walks, back-to-back singles by Charles and Apligian preceded Kaminski’s third homerun of the doubleheader. This one on a swing loaded with so much power that the ball left his bat at 104.9 mph at a launch angle of 33 degrees. Consecutive singles by Jon, Stanford, and Parr plated the fourth run of the inning.
Dalton Fallaw’s RBI triple enabled the Rangers to make it a 1-run game in the bottom of the first. However, that would be the last inning where the game remained close.
The Royals’ played small ball in the second inning as Kaminski’s 2-run single was the big hit in the 5-run inning that featured two walks, four singles, and two RBI fielder’s choices.
The Rangers mounted a serious threat in the bottom of the second when they loaded the bases with only one out and one run already in. Stanford extinguished the threat when Parr induced the next batter to hit a ground ball toward shortstop. Stanford fielded the ball, ran toward and tagged the runner going from second to third, and flipped the ball to Liam at second base just in time to complete the heads-up, 6–4 double play.
The Royals removed all doubt about the outcome of the contest in the top of the third as they cycled through their lineup – sending 12 batters to the plate for the second time this season – and scored seven of their nine runs with two outs. Stanford led off and singled, and scored on Parr’s double. Jorge Rivera’s single turned the lineup over, and with the bases loaded, Apligian laced a clutch 2-out, 2-run double. With runners on second and third, Wu rewarded the Royals’ faithful by unloading his second homerun of the doubleheader; a towering, 2-out, 3-run blast over the left centerfield fence. Later in the same inning, Liam hit a 2-run missile that looked like it had been shot out of a rocket launcher. As it slammed into the netting beyond the left centerfield fence for his first homerun of the season, the Royals’ dugout erupted in jubilation and he was mobbed by his teammates. Two episodes ago, during Shalom Live, TSSL Commissioner, Scott Lawrence, accurately predicted Liam’s homerun.
After the nine-run outburst, and a shutdown inning by Parr to close out the bottom of the third, Parr blasted his second homerun of the twin bill, a solo shot in the top of the fourth – and the Royals’ fourth overall – to close out the Royals’ scoring.
In a game where they never trailed, the Royals sported a commanding 19 – 4 lead after 3 ½ innings. However, the Rangers didn’t fold; scoring seven runs over the next two innings, with the big hit coming on Fallaw’s 3-run bomb in the Rangers’ 4-run fifth just as time expired.
On a day when the Royals tied their own franchise record for homeruns, not to be overlooked were Parr’s two stellar performances on the mound, and the defensive play of Stanford, who was in the middle of all three double plays.
Game 2 Offensive Stars
Brad Parr 3 – 3, 2 Runs, 3 RBI, 2B, HR
Tommy Apligian 3 – 3, 3 Runs, 3 RBI, 2B
Charles Lachman 1 – 2, 3 Runs, 1 RBI, 2 BB
Tim Kaminski 2 – 3, 2 Runs, 5 RBI, HR, GWRBI
Darius Wu 2 – 3, 2 Runs, 3 RBI, HR
Brad Stanford 2 – 3, 1 Run
Jorge Rivera 1 – 2, 2 Runs, BB
Liam Kilburn 1 – 3, 1 Run, 3 RBI, HR
Royals Put on Power Show, Defensive Clinic in Doubleheader Sweep