Brad Keller allowed two hits over six scoreless innings and Salvador Perez had three hits with three RBIs, but the Kansas City Royals needed to hold on for a 5-4 win over the host Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.
Through two starts, Keller (2-0, 0.00 ERA) has yielded just five hits over 11 innings without giving up a run. He needed to work at times on Wednesday, yet was still solid. However, the Royals nearly blew a 5-0 lead.
Cincinnati, which won the opener of this two-game set 6-5 in 10 innings on Tuesday, made things interesting in the seventh.
Down five and with Keller out of the game, Jesse Winker clubbed a solo homer and Freddy Galvis a two-run shot, both off Ian Kennedy. The Reds made it 5-4 when Josh VanMeter went deep to right field off Scott Barlow later in the inning.
The Reds also had runners on second and third with one out in the eighth, but Royals reliever Josh Staumont fanned Nick Senzel and Galvis. Cincinnati then loaded the bases in the ninth, but Kansas City closer Trevor Rosenthal got Christian Colon to ground into a 5-4-3 double play to end the game and record his fourth save.
The Royals, winners in five of six, opened the scoring in the first when Whit Merrifield led off with a double. He later scored from third on Galvis' throwing error off a Perez grounder.
Apparently hurt covering first base in the second, Cincinnati starter Wade Miley (0-2, 16.20 ERA) lasted just 1 2-3 innings. He allowed the one run, two hits, two walks and struck out two while throwing 44 pitches.
Kansas City went up 2-0 in the third inning on Perez's drive to left-center field for his fourth home run. The Royals made it 3-0 on Merrifield's fourth-inning sacrifice fly, and Ryan O'Hearn's sacrifice fly one inning later made it 4-0.
Perez came through again with a run-scoring double in the sixth for a 5-0 Royals' advantage.
Winker and Galvis each had two hits for the Reds, who had won three of four.
--Field Level Media