Jorge Soler powers Kansas City Royals past Detroit Tigers again, this time 5-4
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jorge Soler hit his 39th homer to set a Royals team record Tuesday night, and manager Ned Yost thought that might really open the floodgates for the breakout slugger.
Relieved to have the record in his pocket, a relaxed Soler stretched his total to 40 with a 450-foot shot Wednesday night, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 5-4.
The drive left Soler’s bat at 115 mph, Soler’s hardest-hit homer of the season and the 10th hardest homer in the majors this season.
“Getting No. 40 is really important. But really, I was really happy to get 30,” he said through an interpreter. “It felt like I’ve hit it like that a bunch of times.”
Hunter Dozier and Alex Gordon had three hits each for the Royals, who matched their season-best winning streak at four.
The Royals are the last team in baseball history to have a player reach 40 home runs in a season. Prior to Tuesday, Mike Moustakas held the club record with 38 in 2017.
Jakob Junis (9-12) gave up four runs and seven hits over seven innings for KC.
Ian Kennedy pitched the ninth for his 26th save in 30 chances. He blew his first save in 15 chances Tuesday night against Detroit, but he was perfect Wednesday.
Edwin Jackson (3-9) allowed four runs and nine hits in five innings for the Tigers.
“They put the ball in play,” Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said. “They just found enough holes out there, and they really made him work. His pitch count went from somewhere around 50 pitches after three innings, and next time you look up he’s at 86 or 87. They really made him work the last couple innings.”
Detroit scored three runs in the second inning on four consecutive hits. Christin Stewart led off with a single, Jeimer Candelario doubled and Harold Castro drove in both runners with a double. Castro then scored on a single by Dawel Lugo.
After threatening in the third, the Royals scored twice in the fourth. Dozier and Gordon singled leading off, and Ryan McBroom, who made his major league debut Tuesday, collected his first career RBI with a single that scored Dozier.