It might be because he’s never received enough of a chance, but until this year, Jorge Soler has never been lumped in with the game’s top power hitters.
Maybe it’s time to add him to the list.
Soler hit a two-out, two-run homer in the eighth inning off Anthony Bass, and the Kansas City Royals rallied for a 6-4 win over Seattle on Monday night, snapping a nine-game losing streak to the Mariners.
Soler’s homer was his 19th of the season, tying him with Mike Moustakas and Jermaine Dye for the most home runs in the first 72 games of a season in Royals’ history. He’s one of three hitters in the AL with 19 homers, two behind Edwin Encarnacion and his AL-best 21 long balls.
“He’s been swinging the bat well for us all year. The power numbers are really good,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost said.
After the Royals were shut down for most of the night by Tommy Milone, the combo of Alex Gordon and Soler put Kansas City in front. Bass (1-2) easily retired the first two batters of the inning before Gordon singled up the middle. Soler followed by driving a 1-1 pitch on the outside corner out to deep right-center field.
“(I’ve) been seeing a lot of offspeed pitches lately and was trying not to fly open and go the other way and did,” Soler said through an interpreter.
Martin Maldonado added a solo home run in the ninth.
Brian Flynn (1-0) got the victory by working two innings of relief after Danny Duffy and striking out four. Jake Diekman got the final two outs of the eighth with the tying run at second base, but Ian Kennedy faced trouble in the ninth.
Flynn pitched for the first time since June 6.