SAN DIEGO -- Continuing a trend that began in Saturday's victory, the Royals homered their way past the Padres on Sunday, blasting four round-trippers in an 8-3 victory in the series' rubber match.Eric Hosmer's RBI single with two outs in the first gave Kansas City a quick 1-0 lead against
SAN DIEGO -- Continuing a trend that began in Saturday's victory, the Royals homered their way past the Padres on Sunday, blasting four round-trippers in an 8-3 victory in the series' rubber match.
Eric Hosmer's RBI single with two outs in the first gave Kansas City a quick 1-0 lead against rookie right-hander Dinelson Lamet. Salvador Perez followed with a single of his own before Mike Moustakas unleashed his 16th homer, a three-run blast that staked Kansas City to a 4-0 lead. Moustakas added his 17th in the ninth for his fifth-career multi-home run game.
"I've been fortunate this year that things are going out of the park,'' Moustakas said.
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Perez exited in the fifth with left-side tightness near his rib cage; the injury is not viewed as serious. "I expect to be in there on Tuesday,'' Perez said. The Royals are off on Monday.
Coming off the worst start of his young career, Lamet improved in a minor sense Sunday. After Moustakas' homer, he did not allow a hit to the next 10 Royals, striking out five.
But Alex Gordon's two-out homer in the fourth ended that stretch. Hosmer hit a two-run shot in the fifth that also came with two outs. Lamet struck out six over five innings, issuing only one walk but consistently throwing hittable pitches.
"He got through five innings after giving up four in the first, so that's a positive," Padres manager Andy Green said. "But at the end of the day, when he's not pitching with his power four-seam at the top of the strike zone, there's not enough command to be successful in this league. So you're going to see balls squared up. That's a radically different pitcher. He's got to pitch with his stuff, but he's got to throw strikes first."
Royals rookie Jake Junis allowed a trio of solo shots, two to Cory Spangenberg, but nothing more, striking out six Padres over seven strong innings.
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"Every time I go out I want to go deep in the game, and I know the bullpen had been getting used pretty good," Junis said. "To give them a break going into an off-day is huge. I felt like my off-speed was a little sharper today, and I was locating my fastball better than in previous outings. I was getting ahead and staying ahead."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Walking Cain: Lamet seemed relaxed as his fourth start began, retiring the first two Royals on eight pitches, only one of them a ball. He then threw four straight out of the zone to Lorenzo Cain, sparking the Royals' four-run rally. Cain advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches and scored on Hosmer's single. It was the fifth time since Wednesday the Padres got the first two outs of an inning before allowing multiple runs in the frame.
"More than anything today, it was Lamet struggling with his command," Green said. "That's going to get you when the inning progresses. He puts a baserunner on in the first inning and honestly just scattershots his fastball after that."
Hosmer at home at Petco: Sunday's contest was another chapter in Hosmer's string of successes at Petco Park. He was named All-Star Game MVP a year ago, homering in the American League's victory. He did the same for Team USA during the World Baseball Classic. His homer Saturday scored the first two of the Royals' nine eighth-inning runs. He then started their scoring with his single in Sunday's first before his two-run blast erased whatever momentum the Padres had gained on Spangenberg's first homer in the bottom of the fourth.
"I never doubted myself because of where I was drafted or anything like that. I always thought I was going to make it." -- Junis, on being selected by the Royals in the 29th round as the 876th overall pick
"It says a lot about our fans. I get, real clearly, how difficult some of these games are. I feel that very strongly. The fans are recognizing a moment that's transcendent in a young guy's life, that he'll remember the rest of his life, giving a standing ovation, applause, getting behind a strikeout, the fastball up in the zone, which I think you'll see time and time again in his Major League career." -- Green, on reaction of Petco Park crowd to Phil Maton's MLB debut
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The Royals hit 10 home runs in the three-game series, while the Padres hit five. The 15 homers are the second-most in a three-game series at Petco Park, one short of the 16 hit in a series between San Diego and Atlanta from July 14-16, 2006.
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Royals: Kansas City remains on the West Coast and starts a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday. Southpaw Jason Vargas (8-3, 2/18) takes the mound. He's split two lifetime decisions against the Giants, defeating them on April 19 when throwing seven scoreless innings.
Padres: The Padres continue their homestand Monday, starting a series against the Reds at 7:10 p.m. PT. Right-hander Luis Perdomo (0-3, 5.47) seeks consistency, as well as his first win of the season. He allowed five runs in four innings against the Diamondbacks his last time out.
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Nathan Ruiz is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego.
Jay Paris is a contributor to MLB.com based in San Diego. He covered the Royals on Sunday.