KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Brayan Pena drove in the tying run in the ninth inning, and Jarrod Dyson scored the winning run on a misguided cutoff throw across the infield, giving the Kansas City Royals a 4-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night.
The wild ninth inning began when Mitch Maier reached first base while striking out on a wild pitch against Brewers closer John Axford (1-3), who also blew a save chance the previous night.
Axford retired Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar to bring up the light-hitting Dyson, who managed to draw a walk. Pena came in to pinch hit for Humberto Quintero and singled to left, allowing Maier to round third base and score the tying run.
Brewers shortstop Edwin Maysonet cut off the throw from the outfield and fired to second, where Pena had started to head, allowing Dyson to speed home with the winning run.
Tim Collins (4-0) worked the ninth inning to pick up the win for the Royals, who wrapped up their first three-game sweep at home since April 2011.
Milwaukee had pulled ahead in the eighth when Carlos Gomez singled off Luke Hochevar, and Maysonet laid down a sacrifice to get him into scoring position. Pinch-hitter Cody Ransom singled to left off reliever Jose Mijares to give Milwaukee the lead.
The run put Shaun Marcum in line to pick up his fourth straight win — at least, until everything unraveled for the second straight night against Axford.
He allowed Escobar’s two-run triple in the ninth inning on Wednesday night, and the Royals went on to win the game when Moustakas drew a bases-loaded walk in the 11th inning.
Ryan Braun homered in the fourth inning for Milwaukee, getting some help from a stiff breeze blowing out to left. Aramis Ramirez answered Eric Hosmer’s go-ahead two-run homer for Kansas City in the sixth with a tying shot in the seventh, this one needing no help from the wind.
Royals outfielder Jeff Francoeur and manager Ned Yost weren’t around to see the dramatic ending, though they were no doubt celebrating together in the clubhouse.
Francoeur was ejected in the second inning by plate umpire Dan Iassogna for arguing a called third strike, and Yost was tossed in the fourth inning when Iassogna ruled the ball dead on a bunt attempt by the Brewers’ Nyjer Morgan that replays showed should have been in play.
It was a particularly embarrassing ejection for Francoeur, who is the namesake of a promotion for Thursday night home games. Fans can purchase tickets for $21 — his jersey number — and receive a T-shirt, drink coupon and seat in the “Frenchy Quarter” section overlooking right field.
Several hundred fans wearing the yellow shirts booed as Francoeur was ejected.