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Waggoner, Perez Power Royals Past Angels for Doubleheader Split

By Larry Lachman, 05/12/24, 2:30PM CDT


An exhilarating inside-the-park grand slam by Adwild Perez keyed a 6-run fifth inning that propelled the Royals past Williams’ Angels 13 – 10 on Sunday to help salvage a split of their doubleheader.  Drew Waggoner added a pair of 2-run homeruns in the third and sixth innings, as he and Perez finished the game with four RBIs apiece.

After Waggoner doubled and scored on Scott Greenberg’s sacrifice fly in the first inning, the Angels plated single runs in the bottom of the first and second to take a short-lived 2 – 1 lead.  From that point on, the Royals offense found its stride, scoring in every inning the rest of the game.

Tommy Apligian singled to lead off the third and scored when Waggoner connected on a 416-foot drive to right centerfield for his sixth homer of the season, putting the Royals in front, 3 – 2. 

Still clinging to a 3 – 2 lead, the Royals loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the fourth when Aaron Bartelson delivered a clutch, 2-out, 2-run single to increase the lead to 5 – 2. 

With the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth, the Royals had already added two more runs, when Perez came up to bat.  Perez hit what at first appeared to be a routine fly ball into the right centerfield gap that turned into one of the season's most unforgettable moments.  Right centerfielder, Lance Gandy, sprinted desperately backward – his arms outstretched like a man grasping for salvation – as the ball carried over his head and fell a staggering 30 feet behind him on the warning track.  That’s when Perez turned on the afterburners.  As Gandy reached the ball, Perez blazed around second base with lightning speed.  By the time he rounded third, the Royals’ dugout erupted into a frenzy of anticipation.  Ronel Martinez, Ryan Greenberg, and Waggoner were crowded around home plate, ready to embrace their teammate in a jubilant celebration.  In a heart-pounding finale, Perez’s foot touched home plate a split second before the relay throw arrived from Andy Williams, igniting a wildfire of exuberance among players and fans alike.  With the scoreboard now reading 11 – 2,  Perez’s inside-the-park grand slam had not only burst the game wide open, but it had scripted a moment of pure, unadulterated magic on the diamond.

In the top of the sixth, Apligian doubled and Waggoner delivered his second round tripper of the game to put the Royals up 13 – 3.

However, the Angels did not go quietly, rallying for seven runs in the bottom of the sixth.  Despite a valiant comeback effort by the Angels, Greenberg held firm, inducing a popup to end the game, and securing a hard-fought victory with the tying run left stranded at the plate.

Game 2 Offensive Stars

Drew Waggoner  3 – 3, 4 Runs, 4 RBI, BB, (2) 2-run HRs, GWRBI
Adwild Perez  2 – 3, 1 Run, 4 RBI, GS HR
Tommy Apligian  3 – 4, 3 Runs, 2B
Kyzer Hoover  2 – 2, 1 RBI, SF
Andy Wetterlin  2 – 3, 2 Runs
Ronel Martinez  2 – 4, 1 Run, 1 RBI
Aaron Bartelson  1 – 3, 2 RBI


The day was not without its challenges.  In the opener, the Royals could only muster six hits against HOF Wayne Casper as they fell to the Red Sox, 10 – 3.  After Joe Calvano and Ryan Maxwell hit solo bombs in the top of the first, the wheels came off as a cascade of uncharacteristic Royals’ errors enabled the Red Sox to score seven unearned runs.  While this was indeed a collective team effort where everything that could go wrong, did go wrong, it’s crucial to note that it was also an anomaly for the Royals’ season – a blip than a reflection on the caliber of our normal, exceptional defensive effort.

While no Royal managed more than one hit, Ryan Greenberg stood out by blasting a 2-run homer in the fifth inning and displayed exceptional plate discipline by drawing two bases on balls, reaching base a total of three times.  Additionally,  Apligian contributed a solo homer of his own and drew a walk.

The Royals may have split the doubleheader, but their indomitable spirit and unwavering determination have left an indelible mark on the hearts of fans and foes alike.  Bolstered by stellar pitching and ironclad defense, they've emerged as one of the league's toughest contenders, surrendering the second fewest runs in the league.  As they look ahead to next week’s games against the Rangers and A’s, one thing remains certain:  the Royals are a force to be reckoned with, fueled by passion, resilience, and an unwavering belief in their ability to overcome any obstacle in their path.

Waggoner, Perez Power Royals Past Angels for Doubleheader Split