Kansas City Royals

Indians ruin Mike Montgomery’s first Royals start

Mike Montgomery makes his first start for the Royals

Kansas City Royals left-hander Mike Montgomery made his first start for the club since being re-acquired from the Chicago Cubs via a trade . He pitched into the third inning and allowed five runs against the Cleveland Indians on July 19, 2019.
Up Next
Kansas City Royals left-hander Mike Montgomery made his first start for the club since being re-acquired from the Chicago Cubs via a trade . He pitched into the third inning and allowed five runs against the Cleveland Indians on July 19, 2019.

All it took was 11 years for Mike Montgomery to go from Royals draft pick to his first start with the club. If he knew how the first one was going to unfold, he likely would’ve preferred to get it out of the way a long time ago so he could forget about it.

Montgomery, a former 2008 first-round draft pick whom the Royals re-acquired via trade earlier this week, made multiple starts for both the Seattle Mariners and Chicago Cubs in his big-league career.

Montgomery, who was traded to Tampa Bay in 2012, finally took the mound for the Royals on Friday night. He ended up on the wrong end of four-run inning as the Royals dropped the opener of a three-game series with the Cleveland Indians, 10-5, in front of an announced 26,640 at Progressive Field.

“I felt good early on,” Montgomery said. “I think there was a lot of good to take away from those first two innings. I felt sharp. I felt strong. Third inning, they took advantage of some two-strike mistakes. I maybe fatigued a little bit. Credit to them. They’ve got a good offense.”

Until Friday, each of Montgomery’s 20 appearances this season came in relief for the Cubs. Montgomery hadn’t pitched in a game since July 2 against Pittsburgh.

He came into the night only expected to throw between 40 and 50 pitches in the stadium where he helped the Cubs end their World Series drought in 2016.

Friday night, Montgomery’s start finished after two innings plus four batters. He allowed five earned runs on six hits (one home run) and zero walks.

Montgomery showed off a 94-mph fastball with sinking action, a cutter as well as a curveball. That curve didn’t always have the sharp bite he wanted, and he paid for it.

“I could feel my legs not being the same, and you haven’t pitched in a while,” Montgomery said. “You really have to make some adjustments when your legs aren’t under you. I think for me, I feel pretty good about being able to do that.

“I’m getting back into the routine and kinda getting that endurance again. I haven’t pitched in quite some time, and I could feel it that last inning. Those are the times that you can get beat. You make mistakes when you’re tired. They just took advantage of them.”

Montgomery threw 18 first-inning pitches. An overturned double play extended the inning after Jordan Luplow had originally been called out on a double play. Upon review, umpires ruled Luplow beat the play out.

Catcher Meibrys Viloria threw out Luplow attempting to steal second base to end the inning.

Montgomery (1-3) retired the side on seven pitches in the second inning. His first strikeout came on a swing-and-miss curve to Jason Kipnis for the second out of the inning. He needed just seven pitches to get through that second inning with the score tied 1-1.

The Royals’ offense gave Montgomery a one-run lead going into the third thanks to consecutive hits from Whit Merrifield (double), Alex Gordon (single) and Hunter Dozier (RBI double).

The Royals (36-63) appeared to tack on another when Humberto Arteaga hit a fly ball to fairly shallow right field, and Gordon tagged at third and broke for home plate.

The throw beat Gordon to the plate easily, but Gordon juked, jumped, bear-crawled and then used a swim move to sneak his hand in before Roberto Perez’s catcher’s mitt hit his arm. Upon review, umpires ruled Gordon had been tagged out.

“It surprised me,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “We’ll send a video in. Again. It’s supposed to be indisputable evidence. I saw none. Zero. I don’t know what goes on with that anymore, to be honest.”

In the bottom half of the inning, Montgomery gave up a leadoff single followed by a two-run home run blasted by Tyler Naquin off the right-field foul pole. Montgomery also gave up a double to Francisco Lindor and an RBI double to Oscar Mercado.

Left-handed reliever Brian Flynn came in for the Royals with a runner on and allowed the inherited runner to score as the Indians registered a four-run third inning.

The Indians led 5-2 through three innings and 6-2 after five.

Merrifield’s three-run triple pulled the Royals within a run, 6-5, in the sixth inning. Merrifield tied teammate Adalberto Mondesi, currently on the injured list, for the major-league lead with nine triples.

However, the Indians (56-40) added a run against reliever Kevin McCarthy in the sixth as well as three more in the eighth off reliever Wily Peralta. Peralta and rookie catcher Viloria met on the mound multiple times in the inning because of miscommunication on the signs with runners on base.

At one point, it looked as though Peralta snapped at the young catcher after Peralta backed up a throw to the plate, but Peralta laughed that off.

“No. We just switched the signs to an easier one,” Peralta said. “I was just talking over the crowd. I don’t get mad.”

Indians 10, Royals 5

Kansas City

AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Merrifield dh

5

1

2

3

0

0

.313

Gordon lf

5

1

2

0

0

0

.281

Dozier 3b

4

0

1

1

0

2

.290

Soler rf

3

0

0

0

1

1

.246

Cuthbert 1b

2

0

0

0

2

0

.294

Arteaga ss

4

0

1

0

0

1

.244

Lopez 2b

4

1

1

0

0

0

.239

Starling cf

4

1

1

0

0

2

.292

Viloria c

2

1

1

0

2

1

.333

Totals

33

5

9

4

5

7



Cleveland

AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Lindor ss

5

3

3

0

0

0

.290

Mercado cf

5

2

5

2

0

0

.299

Santana 1b

3

1

0

0

2

0

.286

Luplow lf

3

1

2

1

1

0

.270

a-Allen ph-lf

0

0

0

1

0

0

.228

Ramirez 3b

5

0

1

2

0

0

.231

Kipnis 2b

4

0

1

1

0

1

.243

R.Perez c

4

0

0

1

0

1

.241

Bauers dh

4

1

2

0

0

0

.246

Naquin rf

3

2

2

2

1

1

.293

Totals

36

10

16

10

4

3



Kansas City

101

003

000

5

9

0

Cleveland

104

011

03x

10

16

0

a-hit by pitch for Luplow in the 8th.

LOB—Kansas City 6, Cleveland 9. 2B—Merrifield (28), Dozier (18), Lindor 2 (20), Mercado (12), Naquin (15). 3B—Merrifield (9). HR—Naquin (9), off Montgomery. RBIs—Merrifield 3 (51), Dozier (52), Mercado 2 (25), Luplow (27), Ramirez 2 (45), Kipnis (36), R.Perez (39), Naquin 2 (30), Allen (16). SB—Lindor (14), Mercado (9). CS—Luplow (2). SF—Kipnis, R.Perez.

Runners left in scoring position—Kansas City 3 (Gordon, Arteaga 2); Cleveland 5 (Santana, Ramirez 2, R.Perez 2). RISP—Kansas City 4 for 8; Cleveland 5 for 14.

Runners moved up—Ramirez, Lindor. FIDP—Arteaga. GIDP—Gordon, Lopez, R.Perez.

DP—Kansas City 2 (Arteaga, Lopez, Cuthbert), (Lopez, Arteaga, Cuthbert); Cleveland 3 (Naquin, R.Perez), (Kipnis, Lindor, Santana), (Kipnis, Lindor, Santana).

Kansas City

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Montgomery, L, 1-3

2

6

5

5

0

1

45

6.83

Flynn

3

3

1

1

3

0

57

4.94

McCarthy

1

3

1

1

0

0

16

5.53

Hill

1

1

0

0

0

2

25

3.55

Peralta

1

3

3

3

1

0

17

5.80

Cleveland

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Bieber, W, 9-3

5 2/3

7

5

5

4

6

103

3.69

Goody, H, 4

1 1/3

1

0

0

0

0

15

1.96

Cimber, H, 12

1

1

0

0

0

1

9

2.68

O.Perez

1

0

0

0

1

0

17

3.08

Montgomery pitched to 4 batters in the 3rd.

Inherited runners-scored—Flynn 1-2, Goody 3-3. HBP—Peralta (Allen). WP—Flynn, McCarthy.

Umpires—Home, Alfonso Marquez; First, Ryan Blakney; Second, Chad Fairchild; Third, Mike Estabrook.

T—3:20. A—26,640 (35,225).

Related stories from Wichita Eagle

Lynn Worthy covers the Kansas City Royals and Major League Baseball for The Star. A native of the Northeast, he’s covered high school, collegiate and professional sports for The Lowell Sun, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Allentown Morning Call and The Salt Lake Tribune. He’s won awards for sports features and sports columns.
  Comments