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O'Hearn keeps showing pop as KC tops Cincy

First baseman hits 12th homer in 40 games; Dozier leads off 9th with HR
September 25, 2018

CINCINNATI -- Royals rookie first baseman Ryan O'Hearn simply continues to amaze.O'Hearn belted a double and a two-run homer in the Royals' 4-3 win over the Reds at Great American Ball Park on a soggy Tuesday night. Hunter Dozier ripped his 11th home run in the ninth, breaking a 3-3

CINCINNATI -- Royals rookie first baseman Ryan O'Hearn simply continues to amaze.
O'Hearn belted a double and a two-run homer in the Royals' 4-3 win over the Reds at Great American Ball Park on a soggy Tuesday night. Hunter Dozier ripped his 11th home run in the ninth, breaking a 3-3 tie.The game was delayed 51 minutes by rain in the third inning.

"The thing that is impressive to me [about O'Hearn and Dozier]," Royals manager Ned Yost said, "is yes, they have tremendous power, yes, they have quick-strike power. But they keep getting better as big league ballplayers."
O'Hearn now has 12 home runs in 40 big league games, one more than he had in 100 games this season at Triple-A Omaha. O'Hearn belted a 0-1 curveball from Reds starter Matt Harvey and drove it into the right-field seats in the fourth inning with Salvador Perez on board.
Perez will make history with next homer
O'Hearn said he wasn't really even thinking curveball.
"Curveball was the pitch he throws least to lefties," O'Hearn said. "But it's always in the back of your mind. … It's a good one to go after. I'm glad it was here in this ballpark."
O'Hearn doubled to right-center in the second inning, moving Perez to third base. Perez scored on an infield hit from Brian Goodwin.

The rain delay shortened Royals left-hander Eric Skoglund's start. Skoglund was sharp for 2 1/3 innings, giving up just one single while striking out one.
Skoglund, though, will get another shot on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium, starting the season finale.
With Skoglund out, Royals manager Ned Yost thus had to empty his bullpen, which couldn't protect an early 3-0 lead.
Brian Flynn was nicked for two runs in 2 2/3 innings, both runs coming home on Dilson Herrera's pinch-hit two-run homer in the fifth.
Right-hander Brandon Maurer gave up a 3-2 lead in the seventh after a triple by Scooter Gennett and a single by Phillip Ervin.
Closer Wily Peralta got out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the ninth by inducing a ground out by Joey Votto. Peralta is now 14-for-14 in save situations.

The Reds had runners on first and second with one out off Peralta when leadoff man Scott Schebler sent a hard grounder toward the hole at shortstop. Raul Mondesi ranged to his right and fired a strike to Dozier at third for a key forceout.
"What a night Dozier had offensively and defensively," Yost said. "That play is every bit as tough for Dozier because he is going after the grounder and then has to be athletic enough to get back to the bag for the force."
Added Dozier: "It was kind of a quiet night until that ninth inning. Mondi made a great play. He did all the work. In situations like that, we try to communicate that if I can't get to it, I'll get back to third."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Royals right-hander Kevin McCarthy inherited a 3-3 game in the eighth and loaded the bases on a walk and two singles. But McCarthy then got Eugenio Suarez to hit into a fielder's choice, shortstop to home for the forceout. McCarthy then struck out Gennett swinging on a sinker away, and got Evin to ground out.

"Whew, I'll take it," said McCarthy, who got the win. "Obviously, you don't want to lead off with a four-pitch walk. But the big out was Gennett. If he puts the ball in play, it's likely a run. Big strikeout there."
SOUND SMART
Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a fifth-inning single. Merrifield also leads the American League in hits (185), three ahead of Boston's J.D. Martinez, and stolen bases (39). Merrifield is two hits behind Atlanta's Freddie Freeman for the Major League lead.

UP NEXT
Right-hander Heath Fillmyer (3-2, 4.56 ERA) takes the mound at Great American Ball Park for the Royals on Wednesday at 5:40 p.m. CT in the final game of the two-game set with the Reds. Fillmyer gave up two runs and eight hits over seven innings last Wednesday in Pittsburgh in a 2-1 loss. Former Royals farmhand, left-hander Cody Reed (1-2, 3.66), will pitch for the Reds.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.