A historic 8th inning powers Padres past Royals 11-8

The Padres beat the Royals 11-8 with a huge eighth inning. Luis Arraez collected four hits and the Padres held on after a late collapse.

May 31, 2024; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Jurickson Profar (10) hits an RBI single in the sixth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

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Mandatory Credit: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Kauffman Stadium- Kansas City, MO 

The Padres made the trip to Kansas City for the first time in two seasons. A familiar face took the mound for the Royals in Michael Wacha. He faced the Padres for the first time since he departed San Diego after a solid 2023 campaign with the Friars, posting a 3.22 ERA in 134 innings.

The Padres countered with an arm familiar with AL Central ballparks in Dylan Cease. He came into Friday’s start with a 4.68 ERA in nine career starts at Kauffman Stadium. Those struggles would come to rear its ugly head late in Cease’s outing as the Royals rallied in the sixth to tag him for three runs.

The offense backed him up in a big way with a nine-run eighth inning. The Padres held on for the 11-8 victory.

Wacha and Cease traded scoreless frames all the way into the sixth inning. Then Fernando Tatis Jr. lined a double off the wall that scored a run and opened the scoring. Jurickson Profar continued his stellar season with an RBI single, pushing the lead to 2-0.

Wacha left the game and yielded to Angel Zerpa. Jake Cronenworth popped out to shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., but Tatis attempted to score from third on a tag-up attempt. Witt gunned him down to end the inning with a double play.

The Royals then immediately responded with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Witt singled home the first run, putting runners on first and second. Vinnie Pasquantino skied a ground-rule double into the left-field corner, scoring another run. Cease was removed in favor of Jeremiah Estrada.

Estrada entered the game on a record-setting 13 consecutive strikeout streak. Nelson Velasquez lined a fly ball to center for a run-scoring sac fly, giving the Royals the 3-2 lead. Estrada’s strikeout streak is now over.

The Padres got two runners on in the top of the seventh but were stifled by the Royals bullpen.

Yuki Matsui worked a scoreless seventh, keeping the Padres within one heading into the eighth.

That is where things got crazy.

Luis Arraez led off the inning with a single in what would be a four-hit night for the current NL leader in batting average. From there, the Padres would go on a hit parade unlike any they have had in franchise history.

San Diego strung together seven straight singles, a feat they had not accomplished since 2010. They got four more hits, including a double, to put the total to 11 hits for the innings, scoring nine runs.

The outburst gave the Padres a comfortable 11-3 lead. Most assumed the Padres would cruise to the win after being up eight runs with six outs left to get.

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The night took an even weirder turn. Stephen Kolek came in to try and get the last three outs in the ninth. The Royals teed off on him for six hits. They eventually got it to 11-6 before manager Mike Schildt had enough and went to his, closer Robert Suarez, to clean up the mess.

Suarez allowed a single to score two more runs, both charged to Kolek. That ended Kolek’s line at five earned runs while getting just one out. Suarez wasn’t sharp, as he likely did not expect to be needed heading into the inning. Nelson Velázquez lined a ball to deep left that looked like it might’ve just tied the game, completing an insane eight-run comeback in the ninth. However, it fell just short of the wall into the glove of Jose Azocar to end the game.

Suarez notched his 17th save of the year, which is second in all MLB. All in all, the Padres won the game and now just need one win over the weekend to get a series win on the road against a hot Royals club.

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