KANSAS CITY — The skillset of Royals future shortstop Adalberto Mondesi was on full display on Tuesday night.
You want defense? Mondesi made a brilliant lunging, spinning play up the middle in the second inning to throw out a runner. You want offense? Mondesi recorded his first career four-hit game, which included two doubles. Speed? Mondesi had his first career three-steal game.
“You know, that’s the way I play the game,” Mondesi said. “Today, I had a chance to do it. I just have to keep working hard so I can show the fans what they want to see.”
Mondesi’s fingerprints were all over what was appearing to be a comeback victory. But reliever Blaine Boyer served up a hanging curveball to Kevin Pillar, who ripped a two-run home run in the eighth inning that powered the Blue Jays to a 6-5 win at Kauffman Stadium in a game delayed 31 minutes at the start because of rain.
“I was trying to go on the plate with it and it stayed up,” Boyer said of his curveball. “He put a good swing on it. When it came out of my hand, I knew it was up. One of the things I battled all year long with the curveball.”
Royals right fielder Jorge Bonifacio had driven in the go-ahead run in the seventh with a double to left, scoring Salvador Perez, who had doubled.
Mondesi also had a big, two-out RBI single in the fourth that tied the score at 4.
“His confidence is really starting to show at the big league level in all phases of his game,” manager Ned Yost said of Mondesi. “We’ve been talking about how special of a player he is, and we’re just getting little glimpses of it like we did tonight. But it sure is fun to watch.”
Yost said he continues to be impressed by Mondesi’s elite speed.
“It’s up there, I mean it’s up there,” Yost said. “It’s very easy, quick, hard speed. It’s like [Jarrod Dyson] and [Terrance Gore] type speed. It’s just, boom, he’s gone. It’s like the Road Runner. You expect a little pillow of dust following him — he’s that fast. He’s done a good job.”
Royals rookie starter Heath Fillmyer battled his command most of the night, as he walked five and hit a batter through five innings. He threw 93 pitches — only 52 for strikes — though many were just barely out of the zone.
“I felt like I was trying to do too much and pick the corners,” Fillmyer said. “I fell behind a lot of counts and walked guys — three of them hurt.”
Fillmyer limited the damage, though, as he gave up five hits and four runs, and he was helped by two double-play balls. Fillmyer also got out of a mess in the third inning, allowing just one run when he struck out Aledmys Diaz on a fastball with the bases loaded and two out.