Royals Stat of the Day: August 2021

September 1st, 2021 is keeping track of a Stat of the Day for the Royals this season, highlighting a unique, interesting or fun nugget from each game.

Aug. 31: Indians 7, Royals 2 -- Brotherly love
When Kyle Zimmer pitched to his brother and Cleveland outfielder Bradley Zimmer in the sixth inning, it represented more than just a fun family moment. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Kyle and Bradley are the first pair of brothers to face each other (batter vs. pitcher) in multiple games in one season since Julio Lugo (batter, Red Sox) and Ruddy Lugo (pitcher, Athletics) did so on Sept. 25-26, 2007. Bradley got the best of Kyle this time around, drawing a five-pitch walk that was payback for Kyle striking him out on five pitches back on July 10.

Aug. 29: Mariners 4, Royals 3 -- Lopez's 3-hit parade
Nicky Lopez has found his way on base quite a lot this season, and lately, his preferred method has been hit after hit. The shortstop, who scored on an eighth-inning single from Salvador Perez, recorded his third consecutive three-hit game on Sunday against the Mariners, the longest streak of his career and tied for the longest such streak in the Majors this season. In the four-game series against Seattle -- whose manager Scott Servais also went to Lopez's alma mater in Creighton University -- Lopez batted .588 (10-for-17).

Aug. 28: Royals 4, Mariners 2 -- Whit stands alone with HR
Whit Merrifield hit his 11th career leadoff homer and second this season. It was his 10th home run of the season, marking his third campaign of at least 30 doubles, 10 home runs and 30 stolen bases -- the only Royals player to have more than two seasons with those marks. Carlos Beltrán, Johnny Damon and Amos Otis each had two seasons of at least 30 doubles, 10 home runs and 30 stolen bases.

Aug. 27: Royals 8, Mariners 7 -- Salvy's Seattle slams
Salvador Perez did it again, hitting his second grand slam in as many days against the Mariners. It was the Royals catcher's fifth career grand slam, tied for second most in Royals history with Danny Tartabull, and made Perez the first Royal to ever do it on consecutive days. Frank White leads the franchise with six grand slams over his 18-year career in Kansas City. Perez's homer was also his 36th of the season and 10th of August -- the most in any calendar month of his career.

Aug. 26: Royals 6, Mariners 4 -- Salvy matches Pudge
With his 35th home run of the season, Salvador Perez increased his single-season career best and has now done what no other American League catcher has done in over two decades. The game-winning grand slam made Perez the first AL backstop to hit 35 or more home runs since Hall of Famer Iván Rodríguez hit 35 in 1999 for the Rangers. Perez also moved to within two homers of Carlton Fisk’s single-season AL record for a catcher (37).

Aug. 25: Astros 6, Royals 5 (12 innings) -- Merrifield ends homer drought
Whit Merrifield had not homered in 194 at-bats when he walked to the plate in the top of the seventh inning. He snapped that drought in a grand way. The second baseman lifted a first-pitch fastball from Astros reliever Cristian Javier for a grand slam, giving the Royals a 5-3 lead. It was Merrifield's first home run since June 29 against Boston and just his second career grand slam -- both of which have come at Minute Maid Park. Merrifield had another two-hit game with the homer and a double, giving him eight multihit efforts in his past 15 games.

Aug. 24: Astros 4, Royals 0 -- Pitching staff stepping up
Three of the four runs Brady Singer allowed were unearned, meaning Singer was charged with just one earned run in five innings. This gave the Royals' rotation a 2.65 ERA (16 earned runs in 54 1/3 innings) over its last nine games. The starters have gone 5-1, individually, over that span, with the Royals going 7-2. And the bullpen has held up, too, with three more scoreless innings. Over the past six games against Houston, dating back to the Aug. 16-19 series, the Royals' bullpen has posted a 1.89 ERA (four earned runs in 19 innings) against the American League West-leading club.

Aug. 23: Royals 7, Astros 1 -- Rivera heating up at the plate
Emmanuel Rivera notched his first career three-hit game, driving in two runs with a double in the second inning and a single in the eighth. The third baseman has recorded a multihit game in five of his 18 starts this season, and over his last seven games, Rivera is hitting .385 (10-for-26) with a home run, double and five runs scored.

Aug. 22: Royals 9, Cubs 1 -- Royals rack up the hits
Kansas City's 16 hits against the Cubs were the most they've had since getting 18 on Aug. 6, 2020, coincidentally also against the Cubs. It was also the first time the Royals have recorded 16 or more hits without a home run since June 18, 2016, against the Tigers.

Aug. 21: Royals 4, Cubs 2 -- Lopez steals 2 in 7th inning
Nicky Lopez stole two bases in the 7th inning against the Cubs on Saturday. He was part of a double steal with Whit Merrifield and then swiped third on his own. It marked the second time in the last five days that Lopez has stolen two bases in the 7th inning. Lopez did it previously against the Astros on Aug. 18. Lopez is the third Royals player in the last five years to steal two bases in the same inning: Terrance Gore stole two in the 8th inning of games 20 days apart in '16, and Adalberto Mondesi did it in the 9th inning within a week in '18.

Aug. 20: Royals 6, Cubs 2 -- Salvy's golf swing
Salvador Perez is so good with a bat in his hands, even pitches outside the zone aren't safe. Perez reached down for a low changeup and golfed it to the left-center-field bleachers at Wrigley Field for his 31st home run of the season. His dinger came on a pitch just 1.08 feet off the ground. That's tied for the sixth-lowest pitch taken deep across the Majors this year, and it's the lowest pitch a Royals hitter has hit for a homer since Statcast began tracking in 2015.

Aug. 19: Astros 6, Royals 3 (10 innings) -- Lopez does it all, big or small
Nicky Lopez's third-inning home run was his first of the season, but the fun doesn't stop there. The long ball snapped a streak of 464 homerless at-bats for Lopez, which was the second-longest active streak in the Majors, trailing only Magneuris Sierra (471). Lopez also laid down a sacrifice bunt in the first inning, becoming the first Royals hitter to log a homer and a sac bunt in the same game since Omar Infante on Sept. 17, 2015.

Aug. 18: Royals 3, Astros 2 -- KC 1st-rounders square off
For the third time in franchise history, two Royals first-round Draft picks started on the mound against each other: Kansas City's Brady Singer (2018 Draft) and Houston's Zack Greinke (2002 Draft). In 1989, Scott Bankhead (1984 Draft) started for the Mariners against Frank Wills (1980 Draft) for the Blue Jays, and in 2019, Greinke started for the Astros against Mike Montgomery (2008 Draft) for the Royals.

Aug. 17: Royals 3, Astros 1 -- Alberto rakes against lefties
Hanser Alberto came to Kansas City with the reputation that he can hit left-handed pitching, and he hasn't disappointed. His two-out, two-strike double drove in the winning runs against the Astros off Framber Valdez, marking Alberto's 25th hit (out of 51) against a left-handed pitcher this season. Alberto's 131 hits against a lefty since the start of 2019 are tied for most in the Majors with Charlie Blackmon, and during that span, Alberto is hitting .360 (131-for-364) against lefties. The first run he drove in on the double also marked the 100th RBI of his career, and in his last eight games, he's hitting .381 with six RBIs.

Aug. 16: Royals 7, Astros 6 -- Dozier heating up
In the sixth inning, Hunter Dozier crushed a game-tying solo homer for his first round-tripper since July 8 in Cleveland. There were exactly 100 at-bats between the two homers -- a 29-game drought. But Dozier has turned things around lately at the plate, recording a hit in nine of his last 10 games since Aug. 6, a stretch in which he’s batting .314 (11-for-35). That has raised his season average 13 points, and he now sits at .205.

Aug. 15: Cardinals 7, Royals 2 -- Salvy's 30th moves him up ranks
Salvador Perez hit his 30th home run of the season on Sunday afternoon, three more than his previous best in 2017 and '18. Perez has hit 19 of those home runs at Kauffman Stadium, which is three shy of the Royals' record for home runs hit at home in a season (21). Chili Davis did it in 1997, Dean Palmer in '98 and Jorge Soler in '19. The home run was also Perez's 400th extra-base hit in his career, seven shy of Billy Butler (407) for the eighth most in franchise history.

Aug. 14: Cardinals 9, Royals 4 -- Salvy one-ups Yadi
Two of the best catchers in the Majors are facing off this weekend in Salvador Perez and Yadier Molina, and neither of them want to give the edge to the other. After Molina caught Jarrod Dyson stealing on Friday night, Perez responded by catching two would-be basestealers on Saturday. He caught Tommy Edman stealing second in the third inning and Harrison Bader stealing second in the seventh. It was Perez's 15th career game in which he threw out two would-be basestealers and the first since Aug. 1, 2018, at the White Sox.

Aug. 13: Cardinals 6, Royals 0 -- Out of the way, Esky!
Two current Royals either tied or passed Alcides Escobar on franchise all-time lists on Friday night against the Cardinals. First, Whit Merrifield tied Escobar for most consecutive games played in franchise history with 421 and is set to break that record on Saturday with his 422nd game in a row. Salvador Perez's double in the seventh inning was the 208th of his career, breaking a tie with Escobar for 10th most in Royals history.

Aug. 11: Yankees 5, Royals 2 -- Providing some relief
Five Royals relievers combined for 5 1/3 scoreless innings against the Yankees after Brady Singer allowed five runs in 3 2/3 innings. It was the first time this season that Kansas City's bullpen held the opposition scoreless for at least five innings, a feat made even more impressive by the group's excessive usage over the past few days. The Royals' 'pen has thrown 25 2/3 innings over the last six days, almost as many as the rotation's 33 innings pitched in that stretch.

Aug. 10: Royals 8, Yankees 4 -- Whit matches Willie Wilson
After notching his first extra-base hit since July 28, Whit Merrifield promptly stole third base and scored the tying run on a throwing error from Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka. It was Merrifield's Majors-leading 32nd steal of the season, and the Royals second baseman has been successful on 32 consecutive steal attempts, matching Willie Wilson (1980) for the second-longest streak in Royals history, one behind Carlos Beltrán's 33 from 1999-2001.

Aug. 9: Yankees 8, Royals 6 (11) -- Salvy's two-walk night
Rarely does Salvador Perez walk, and even rarer does he walk twice in a game. But that's exactly what he did on Monday night against the Yankees. Perez drew a walk in the first and eighth innings for his first two-walk game since May 9, 2017, against Tampa Bay. Before Monday, Perez had 373 consecutive games with at least one plate appearance and no more than one walk. He also had a 363-game such streak, from April 8, 2014, through July 15, 2016.

Aug. 8: Royals 6, Cardinals 5 -- Wade moves up list
With his scoreless inning on Sunday in the Royals' win, Wade Davis made his 245th appearance as a Royal, passing Marty Pattin for 20th all-time in club history. Davis needs six more appearances to tie Jason Grimley for 19th all-time. Since Davis came off the injured list on July 17, the veteran right-hander has retired 18 of 21 batters faced over six appearances, including a 1-2-3 inning with one strikeout on Sunday.

Aug. 7: Cardinals 5, Royals 2 -- Hanser says hello to Busch
In his first appearance ever against the Cardinals and at Busch Stadium, Hanser Alberto did what he does best: Hit lefties. Both of Alberto's singles came off lefty starter Kwang Hyun Kim in the third and fourth innings. Since 2019, Alberto's 127 hits vs. left-handed pitching leads all American League hitters. That's part of the reason the Royals signed Alberto in the offseason -- and he's lived up to the expectation.

Aug. 6: Cardinals 4, Royals 2 -- Holland moves on up
Greg Holland pitched a scoreless seventh inning against Cardinals on Friday night, and it marked the right-hander's 383rd appearance with Kansas City, passing Mark Gubicza (382) for sole possession of sixth all-time in club history. Holland would need to appear in 44 more games with the Royals to match Joakim Soria's 427 appearances for fifth.

August 5: Royals 3, White Sox 2 -- Whit has wheels
Whit Merrifield recorded his 29th stolen base on Thursday night, and the Royals second baseman now leads the Majors for most stolen bases in 2021. Since being caught on his first attempt of the regular season, Merrifield has now been successful on every attempt since, which is the longest streak in the Majors since Byron Buxton stole 33 straight without being caught from 2017-19.

August 4: Royals 9, White Sox 1 -- Hernández deals vs. Chicago again
The White Sox had a chance to get to know Carlos Hernández when he tossed six scoreless innings against them last week. But when he faced them again Wednesday, he still seemed to baffle the powerful Chicago lineup. The 24-year-old held the White Sox to one run in five innings Wednesday night, and he is now 2-0 and has an 0.82 ERA (one run in 11 innings) against the American League Central-leading team in back-to-back starts. Hernández threw 93 pitches on Wednesday, a new career high.

August 3: White Sox 7, Royals 1 -- Lopez extends streak
Nicky Lopez was an American League Gold Glove Award finalist at second base in 2020 and just might be on his way to being one at shortstop this year. Lopez appeared at short in 91 of the Royals' first 104 games this season and hasn't committed an error since May 4. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Lopez's 63 games at shortstop without an error is a new franchise record; it surpasses the previous mark of 60 games, shared by Rey Sanchez (2000) and Adalberto Mondesi, whose streak is still active as he recovers from a left oblique strain. Lopez's streak is the longest by any MLB shortstop since Pittsburgh's Kevin Newman had a 76-game stretch from April 1-July 11 this season.

August 1: Blue Jays 5, Royals 1 -- Olivares goes deep again
Before Edward Olivares was optioned to Triple-A Omaha on July 4, he went out with a bang, hitting his first home run of the season. And now, just two days into his return to the Majors, Olivares returned with another homer. Though 29 days passed in between, Olivares homered in consecutive starts for Kansas City (he also walked in his lone plate appearance as a pinch-hitter on Friday). His ninth-inning solo shot against the Blue Jays snapped the Royals' 17-inning scoreless drought and prevented a second shutout in as many days.