Oh, heck, where to begin with the Royals’ sixth win in seven games?
The 14-3 victory over the White Sox at Kauffman Stadium on Sunday included a solid outing by Zack Greinke, four hits for Mike Aviles, Jose Guillen hitting one of the longest homers of the season here — and a bench-clearing fracas that led to a couple punches and five ejections.
First, the details on the fight: Miguel Olivo batted with the bases loaded in the fifth, and hit the deck on consecutive inside pitches from D.J. Carrasco. The second one hit him, and he got back to his feet, tossed his batting helmet, and ran out to the mound.
Olivo paused a bit before reaching Carrasco, allowing White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski to catch him and limit the damage from Olivo, by far the strongest player on the Royals.
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Bizarre incident, too, with several White Sox players late to the field after no doubt being caught in the clubhouse. Royals pitching coach Bob McClure pointed and yelled at White Sox third base coach Jeff Cox, and, believe it or not, Guillen ended up playing the peacekeeper role.
Olivo was ejected, of course, and once the umpires booted Carrasco, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen came out of the dugout screaming. He was tossed as well.
Coincidence or not, Olivo was hit by a pitch June 4 against White Sox reliever Octavio Dotel. It’s probably also worth remembering that Olivo began the season on the suspension list after an on-field fight with Jose Reyes while a member of the Marlins last year.
As for the game, it wasn’t much of one, almost from the beginning. The Royals lit up Chicago starter Clayton Richard — the former backup quarterback at Michigan — for five runs in the second inning.
Olivo hit a two-run double off the left field wall, and Aviles hit a changeup into the Sox bullpen for another two runs.
The frisky fifth was the Royals’ next big inning, as they scored on Olivo’s hit-by-pitch, Gload’s two-run double to deep centerfield, and Aviles’ single to right.
All this overshadowed one of Greinke’s best starts of the year. He gave up two runs, six hits, no walks and struck out six over 6 1/3 innings, and was classic Greinke throughout.
Fifty-three of his 87 pitches went for strikes, and his fastball consistently touched 95 mph. On one sequence to Orlando Cabrera, Greinke threw a 94 mph fastball, a 67 mph curveball, and a 93 mph fastball.
Greinke’s last pitch was a fastball into Nick Swisher’s hip, leading to an immediate ejection because both benches had been warned after the benches cleared. By rule, that meant manager Trey Hillman was tossed, too.
Aviles’ had four hits for the third time in what continues to be a breakout rookie season.
Guillen’s homer came off an 88 mph fastball from Richard that caught too much plate. It bounced off the Watson’s ad board in the left-center fountains and up the grassy hill behind. The ball would’ve rolled into the dirt construction zone behind the light standards if not for a small green wall.
Butler went 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs and is now 13-for-30 with nine RBIs in his last seven games.
The Royals sent eight batters to the plate in the second inning, nine in the fifth, and seven in the sixth. They now have 38 hits in their last two games.