Rooker’s ninth-inning shot sinks Royals

Brent Rooker’s two-run homer in the ninth secured a 6-4 victory for the Oakland Athletics over the Kansas City Royals. Rooker’s shot off Dylan Coleman clinched the win, as the Athletics snapped a three-game losing streak.

Zack Gelof, Jordan Diaz, and Shea Langeliers also contributed home runs for the struggling Athletics, who hold the worst record in MLB at 35-90. This win ended a 10-game rough patch for them.

Rooker’s game-winning homer was not just a sports moment; it allowed him to catch a concert by country star Zach Bryan next door at the Oakland Arena, a former home to the Golden State Warriors. Athletics manager Mark Kotsay praised Rooker’s recent batting form and his determination to make it to the concert.

The Athletics had the lead for most of the game, but the Royals tied it up 4-4 in the eighth inning. The Royals’ chance to take the lead was thwarted by a video replay that overturned a stolen base call.

In the ninth, Ryan Noda, recently off the disabled list, was hit by a pitch from Coleman. Then Rooker, with a 2-0 count, smashed a slider over the left field wall, sealing the Athletics’ victory. This marked Rooker’s second game-ending homer of the season.

The game drew a crowd of just 3,095, the fifth-smallest of the season for the Athletics. However, they managed to avoid sinking 56 games below a .500 record, a fate they haven’t faced since 1920.

For the Royals, Bobby Witt Jr. hit his 25th home run of the season, but the team struggled, losing six out of seven games. Gelof, a standout rookie for the Athletics, continued to impress with his batting prowess, including hitting his sixth home run of the month.

Trevor May, the fifth and final pitcher for the Athletics, secured the win. The Royals employed Tucker Davidson as an opener in this game, making him their 20th starting pitcher this season, a franchise record.

On the injury front, 1B Nick Pratto and RHP Brad Keller were making strides in their rehab assignments for the Royals. For the Athletics, 1B Ryan Noda returned from a fractured jaw, while RHP Spencer Patton was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Looking ahead, Royals’ LHP Angel Zerpa (1-1, 6.08 ERA) is set to face the Athletics for the second time this season. The Athletics’ starting pitcher for the upcoming game is yet to be announced.

There is positive news about the potential return of right-handed pitcher Zack Greinke for the Oakland Athletics game. Greinke has been on the 15-day injured list since August 7th due to soreness in his right posterior elbow. However, both Greinke and the Royals have been optimistic about a swift recovery. Greinke has joined the team in Oakland, and if his physical condition checks out after his throwing session on Monday, he’s on track to be taken off the injured list and pitch against the A’s on Tuesday.

The Royals are still deciding on the best course of action, discussing options with Greinke internally. One consideration is whether Greinke will start the game or if the team will employ an opener strategy, which has been previously discussed with the experienced pitcher. For Tuesday’s game, lefty Angel Zerpa is currently scheduled to start, but that plan could be subject to change.

Manager Matt Quatraro shared that the decision will be based on factors such as Greinke’s expected workload and whether starting or using an opener would be more advantageous for the team’s strategy.

Joshua Palacios led the Pittsburgh Pirates to an 11-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night. Palacios hit a three-run home run and collected a career-high five RBIs, driving the Cardinals to their fifth loss in six games.

Palacios’ powerful shot down the right-field line highlighted a four-run fourth inning, extending the Pirates’ lead to 8-0. This marked the major league debut for Cardinals’ starter Drew Rom, who was eventually pulled after Palacios’ homer. Palacios later sealed the deal with a two-run double in the eighth inning.

Not only did Palacios contribute with his bat, but he also made an impressive sliding catch in left field to secure the victory for the Pirates.

Interestingly, this was the first time Joshua Palacios faced off against his brother, Richie Palacios, who plays for the Cardinals. The brothers had been teammates in Puerto Rico and played together for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.

Palacios, a Brooklyn native, had a sizeable family turnout in the stands to witness his outstanding performance. Despite the support, he jokingly acknowledged that if the game had taken place in New York City, his expenses might have skyrocketed.

The Cardinals remained in fifth place in the NL Central, now 1.5 games behind the Pirates. St. Louis has not finished in last place in the division since 1990.

Pirates’ Connor Joe and rookie Endy Rodriguez both had impressive performances, each hitting three triples. Bailey Falter secured the win for the Pirates by pitching one run over six innings in bulk relief.

Thomas Hatch started the game as the opener for the Pirates, and Andrew Knizner’s fifth-inning home run provided the Cardinals with their only run.

Drew Rom’s debut did not go as planned, as he was tagged for eight runs in just 3 2/3 innings. The Pirates capitalized on his struggles, scoring two unearned runs in the first inning due to an error by the Cardinals’ second baseman.

The Cardinals’ Dylan Carlson is contemplating surgery for his left ankle, while INF Nolan Gorman took steps towards recovery by hitting off a tee. Pirates’ rookie RF/C Henry Davis landed on the injured list due to a right hand strain.

The next matchup features Cardinals’ LHP Adam Wainwright, who will be aiming for his 199th career win, facing off against Pirates’ RHP Johan Oviedo. Wainwright has struggled lately, going 0-7 with a 12.72 ERA in his last eight starts.

The MLB scoreboard for Monday, August 21, 2023: 

Chicago Cubs 7, Detroit 6

Cincinnati at LA Angels – PP – Flooding from T.S. Hilary

Arizona 4, Texas 3 (11) 

Seattle 14, Chicago White Sox 2

Houston 9, Boston 4

Oakland 6, Kansas City 4

Philadelphia 10, San Francisco 4

Pittsburgh 11, St. Louis 1

NY Mets 10, Atlanta 4

San Diego 6, Miami 2