Royals win 7-3 over Pirates in first game back to full capacity

  • Picture of Adalberto Mondesi swinging bat
  • Picture of Adalberto Mondesi smiling and high-fiving
  • Picture of Mike Minor pitching

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Adalberto Mondesi hit a two-run homer before injuring his hamstring, Mike Minor pitched six solid innings and the Kansas City Royals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-3 on Monday night.

Mondesi tweaked his left hamstring when he charged a slow roller in the eighth. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the inning.

“I hated to see him come out of the game right there,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “That was a really good play. There aren’t many shortstops in the league that can make that play. He had to take a full burst to make it happen.”

Kauffman Stadium welcomed back 100% capacity for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Though the seats were far from sold out, fans mostly welcomed the change as positive.

The Royals have been hovering around .500 after coming back from an 11-game losing streak that dropped them four games below.

Minor (4-2) allowed two runs and five hits. He struck out seven and walked one.

“A quality start and a win, so it was good,” Minor said. “I feel like I made some mistakes like every game. But I didn’t give up a whole lot of hard-hit balls.”

Chad Kuhl (0-2) took the loss in his return from the injured list. He gave up three runs and six hits in four innings.

“I thought the slider was good,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said. “He got stronger as the game went on. He was a little inconsistent with his fastball early on, but settled down and the pitch limit just got to him.”

Bryan Reynolds homered and drove in two runs for Pittsburgh.

The Pirates got a run in the first on an RBI groundout by Reynolds after Adam Frazier led off with a double.

Whit Merrifield opened the bottom half with a double and scored on a two-out single by Salvador Perez.

The Royals added two in the second. Edward Olivares was hit by a pitch and scored on Hunter Dozier’s double. Dozier then scored on a shift-beating single by Kelvin Gutierrez. Kansas City loaded the bases but couldn’t score any more.

“I feel good and the swing feels pretty good,” Dozier said of his recent production. “I feel like I’m in a really good spot right now.”

The Pirates got within one on a two-out single in the third by Jacob Stallings that scored Kevin Newman.

Mondesi hit a 417-foot drive beyond the bullpen in right field to give the Royals a 5-2 lead in the sixth. It was the second home run of the year for Mondesi, who was playing in his first home game this season.

“That ball was hammered,” Matheny said. “He wasn’t trying to do too much. He’s really been in a good place. That gave us a little bit of breathing room.”

Reynolds connected on a long home run to straightaway center field in the eighth.

The Royals got two runs in the bottom half. Gutierrez’s fielder’s choice drove in Nicky Lopez, and Michael A. Taylor’s double scored Gutierrez.

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