Singer throws eight innings of three-hit ball as Royals pound Mets to complete sweep
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Brady Singer is starting to look like the promising young pitcher that was at times dominant last season, and Bobby Witt Jr. is starting to make good on the expectations that many placed on him as one of baseball's top prospects.
Together, they're making the last-place Kansas City Royals look like a winning ballclub.
Singer tossed eight innings of three-hit ball Thursday, and Witt joined Drew Waters in hitting homers, helping the suddenly hot Royals blow out the free-falling New York Mets 9-2 to wrap up their second straight series sweep.
The last-place Royals had won just four of their first 33 series this season. But leaning on their young stars, they squeaked out three wins over Minnesota before taking three from the Mets, a club they had never swept in franchise history.
“It just shows you what we're capable,” said Witt, who got off to a poor start to this season. “The guys are really buying in.”
Singer (7-8), who also got off to a dismal start, allowed singles in the second, fourth and fifth and didn't walk a batter while cruising through the New York lineup. He did not allow a run while striking out four and throwing exactly 100 pitches.
“We're riding high and we should be,” Singer said. “Six in a row. Just keep doing what we're doing.”
Carlos Carrasco (4-5) allowed all six runs on eight hits and a walk over six innings in another poor start for the Mets. The right-hander has followed up eight shutout innings in Arizona on July 6 by allowing 21 earned runs in his last four starts.
Francisco Lindor provided the Mets' only offense with a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth.
“Our guys are motivated. They have a lot of professional pride,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “I can rattle off four or five things I was proud of today but I know nobody wants to hear of them when it’s 9-2.”
The series-ending romp wrapped a tumultuous week for the Mets, who traded Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander as part of a stunning selloff that also included closer David Robertson, and outfielders Tommy Pham and Mark Canha.
Meanwhile, the Royals (35-75) completed just the fifth perfect homestand of at least six games in franchise history.
“We'll take them whenever they come, right?” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “I mean, obviously we've got ourselves in an enormous hole record-wise, but like we've talked about all year, the effort has been there. The intensity of the work and all those things. So it's nice to see some rewards coming for the guys.”
Witt got their offense started with a single in the first inning, then he stole second for his 31st of the season, before trotting home when Salvador Perez doubled off the wall to give Kansas City the early lead.
The Royals continued to put pressure on the Mets with their baserunning in the third. Samad Taylor beat out an infield single, swiped second — that made Kansas City 13 for 13 on stolen base attempts on the homestand — and reached third on a wild pitch before a high sacrifice fly by Maikel Garcia gave the Royals a 2-0 lead.
Witt followed with his first-pitch, 425-shot to straightaway centerfield.
The Royals put the game out of reach with three in the seventh when Freddy Fermin and Matt Beaty opened the inning with singles and Waters took Carrasco deep to right field. They added three more in the eighth for good measure.
The Mets turned to infielder Danny Mendick to get their final two outs on the mound.
FANCY GLOVE WORK
Witt was part of two spectacular defense plays behind Singer. The first came in the second inning, when the shortstop ranged to his left and grabbed Omar Narvaez's grounder behind second base, then wheeled around to throw him out at first. The second came in the fifth, when second baseman Michael Massey dived to get Narvaez's grounder, flicked it from his glove to Witt to get Mark Vientos at second base, and he fired to first to complete the double play.
Mets OF Brandon Nimmo (left quad) could be available to open a three-game set in Baltimore on Friday night, manager Buck Showalter said. RF Starling Marte (migraines) also could be back against the Orioles.
Mets RHP David Peterson (3-7, 5.92 ERA) gets the start against the Orioles on Friday night. The Royals will send RHP Jordan Lyles (2-12, 6.15) to the mound for their series opener Friday night in Philadelphia.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB