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Royals rally to stomp Phillies 13-4 on Friday
Major League Baseball
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PHILADELPHIA — Once the Kansas City Royals started hitting, they piled it on.
Alex Gordon and Chris Getz each hit a bases-loaded triple and the Royals rallied to beat Philadelphia 13-4 Friday, spoiling the Phillies’ home opener.
The interleague matchup was a rare one between teams that first met in the 1980 World Series — the Royals’ only other visit to Philadelphia came in 2004.
After getting a total of 17 hits in their first three games against the Chicago White Sox, the Royals had 19 against the Phillies. Eric Hosmer was 4 for 5 with three RBIs, and the Royals overcame a 4-0 deficit to surge past Kyle Kendrick and the Phillies.
“We’ve been struggling with the bats,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “It was a matter of time until we broke out.”
Breakout is an understatement. The Royals got 17 hits and 13 runs in the last five innings.
“They put us in a hole, but the offense stepped up,” Hosmer said. “Gordon got the big hit and the offense took a load off our shoulders after that.”
Domonic Brown and Erik Kratz hit solo homers for the Phillies, who are off to a 1-3 start.
Bruce Chen (1-0) struck out two in a perfect fifth in relief of Wade Davis to earn the win. Davis allowed four runs and nine hits in four innings in his first start for Kansas City.
Four Royals relievers combined to toss five hitless innings.
“Our bullpen was fantastic, all of them,” Yost said.
Kendrick (0-1) gave up five runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings. He cruised through the first four innings, giving up only two hits.
“It’s disappointing,” Kendrick said. “They got some hits. I’m not worried at all. It got away from us.”
Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and George Brett, rivals when the Phillies beat the Royals to win their first championship 33 years ago, threw out the first pitches.
Schmidt was the MVP of the ‘80 Series. He capped it off by leaping on pitcher Tug McGraw after the lefty threw strike three past Willie Wilson to clinch Game 6 and set off a wild celebration at old Veterans Stadium.
Looking to return to the postseason after their streak of five straight NL East titles ended last year when they finished 81-81, the Phillies will need better pitching. Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay were roughed up by Atlanta in the first two games, and Kendrick unraveled after four strong innings.
Hosmer hit a two-run single with two outs in the fifth to cut the deficit to 4-2.
The Royals also rallied with two outs in the sixth. Getz hit a double to put runners at second and third. Pinch-hitter Billy Butler was intentionally walked to load the bases. Jeremy Horst replaced Kendrick and Gordon greeted him with a bases-clearing triple to right-center that put the Royals ahead 5-4.
“We knew we didn’t swing the bats great in Chicago,” Gordon said. “We just kind of moved on. We never lost confidence in our offense. We came in here confident.”
Getz hit his bases-clearing triple off Chad Durbin in the seventh. Brown helped him out with an ill-advised diving attempt on the liner to left. The ball fell in and rolled all the way to the warning track.
Alcides Escobar hit a solo homer off Raul Valdes to make it 10-4 in the eighth.
A sellout crowd of 45,307 at Citizens Bank Park hoped to enjoy a victory on a comfortable, 64-degree late afternoon.
The pregame festivities included a mini-parade that led players into the ballpark from the street behind the stands in left-center field.
With their furry green mascot, the Phillie Phanatic, first in line, the players and coaches walked in, mingled with the crowd and high-fived fans lined up along the red carpet in the outfield.
Then the hitters gave them something to cheer at the start.
Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard lined consecutive one-out singles in the first for a 1-0 lead.
Brown hit a towering drive out to right in the second. One out later, Kratz lined one out to left for a 3-0 lead. Kendrick followed with a liner off the wall in left, barely missing his first career homer by about 2 feet.
Kendrick slowly jogged to first, admiring his drive and held up for a long single much to the amusement of Howard and his fellow starting pitchers who pointed and laughed from the dugout.
Utley doubled to left-center in the third, stole third and scored on Howard’s line-drive single to right.
Davis, acquired from Tampa Bay along with James Shields, made his first start since 2011. He made 54 relief appearances for the Rays last year after 58 starts from 2010-11.