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Soler, Merrifield lead Top 10 moments of 2019

@FlannyMLB
November 11, 2019

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals lost 103 games in 2019, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t many exciting moments to the season. Those moments included Jorge Soler breaking the all-time single-season home run record for the Royals, as well as Whit Merrifield claiming a club record for consecutive-game hitting streak.

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals lost 103 games in 2019, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t many exciting moments to the season.

Those moments included Jorge Soler breaking the all-time single-season home run record for the Royals, as well as Whit Merrifield claiming a club record for consecutive-game hitting streak. Here are the top 10 moments of 2019:

1. Sept. 3: Soler the new KC home-run champ
The Royals knew it was only a matter of time before Soler would set the single-season home-run mark. And on this night, Soler set the record with his 39th home run, a three-run shot in the third inning off Daniel Norris of the Tigers. The homer broke Mike Moustakas’ record of 38. Kansas City won, 6-5.

2. Aug. 30: Soler ties Moose’s mark
In an otherwise drab 14-2 loss to the Orioles, fans at Kauffman Stadium had something to cheer about: Soler blasted his 38th home run, thus tying the franchise record of 38 home runs in a season. The home run came in the first inning.

3. Sept. 3: O’Hearn’s walk-off home run
In a back-and-forth game with the Tigers, Ryan O'Hearn played hero as he pinch-hit in the bottom of the ninth. He delivered an opposite-field, walk-off home run on the first pitch he saw from Zac Reininger, sending the Royals to a 6-5 win.

4. May 26: Merrifield walks off Yanks
The Royals lost a 7-1 lead to the Yankees, but Merrifield rescued them in the 10th inning. Billy Hamilton walked with one out, and stole second. Then Merrifield won it with a ground-ball single to left field off the third baseman as Kansas City triumphed, 8-7.

5. April 13: A Hunter Dozier walk-off
After coughing up an 8-5 lead to the Indians, the Royals made things right in the ninth when O’Hearn walked, and pinch-runner Terrance Gore promptly stole second base and went to third on a throwing error. Hunter Dozier then lined a walk-off single to left off Brad Hand for a 9-8 win.

6. April 10: The record is all Whit’s
On this night, in a 6-5 loss to the Mariners, Merrifield set a Royals franchise mark by recording a hit in his 31st straight game. And Merrifield did it in style, laying down a perfect bunt down the third-base line for a single in the bottom of the seventh inning.

7. April 9: Merrifield ties Brett’s franchise record
With a first-inning triple, Merrifield extended his hitting streak to 30 games in a 6-3 loss to the Mariners. That streak had started toward the end of the 2018 season. With the triple, Merrifield tied George Brett's franchise mark of hitting in 30 straight games.

8. April 9: Hamilton electrifying on the bases
In a 6-3 loss to the Mariners at Kauffman Stadium, Hamilton showed off his blazing speed, scoring from second base on a deep fly to center field by Adalberto Mondesi.

9. July 16: Sparkman tosses first career shutout
Right-hander Glenn Sparkman had an up-and-down season, but he turned in a career outing in an 11-0 win over the White Sox at Kauffman Stadium. Sparkman gave up five hits, walked one and struck out eight. Sparkman said it was his first shutout at any level in baseball.

10. Aug. 25: O’Hearn bails out the Royals
The Royals, after rallying for five runs in the eighth inning to take an 8-4 lead, lost that lead in the bottom of the ninth. But instead of Kansas City taking a deflating loss on getaway day, O’Hearn, who had two dingers on the day, drilled a home run off Cleveland’s Nick Goody to give the Royals a 9-8, 10-inning win. Right-hander Jorge Lopez pitched a 1-2-3 10th for his first career save.

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