This was my first ever visit to Kaufmann Stadium. I have been to every other Midwest MLB city to see a game at least once, but never Kansas City (I have been to Cincinnati, but only to Riverfront Stadium and not Great American Ballpark yet). I finally got to scratch this one off my list. I really liked the ballpark. The game was sold out but it did not feel crowded. There were not long lines for the bathrooms or the concessions. We were in the 300 level though, maybe it was different elsewhere. We also got really lucky that there were 3 of us, and we happened to get these 3 seats that were in a row by themselves next to a suite. We had a great view. The layout is really not that different from US Cellular Field in Chicago but it just has a different feel. The seating level I was on for this game doesn’t really exist in the Cell. But the big upper deck and nice outfield concourse is why I say they are kind of similar. We had a great view as you can tell from the pictures.
Before the game started they had a ceremony to induct Mike Sweeney into the Royals Hall of Fame. It was a neat ceremony. George Brett was on hand and did speak for a couple minutes.
When I saw the pitching matchup, I knew the Royals had a good chance to win. Johnny Cueto was pitching for them versus Matt Shoemaker for the Angels. Cueto struggled a bit early, giving up 5 hits in the first two innings. But he got help with double plays and baserunning errors by the Angels. After giving up all those hits (and several other hard hit balls that were outs) he really settled down. The only blemish was the homer by Albert Pujols in the 2nd inning. As a Cardinals fan it was cool to see Albert go deep. Trout had a bad day, and he and Albert were pulled from the game after the 6th inning to rest with the game out of reach, down 9-1.
The Royals simply pounded Shoemaker. After Albert homered in the top of the 2nd, Salvador Perez crushed a solo homer into the fountain to tie it up. That opened the floodgates. The Royals had a barrage of singles and doubles with some walks mixed in to score 5 more runs that inning. Shoemaker was pulled from the game in favor of another former Cardinal, Fernando Salas. Salas got out of that inning finally but did allow a run in the next inning. The Royals were winning 7-1 at that point. They got 2 more runs in the 6th inning to make it 9-1. The Angels had a rally going in the 9th inning where they got 3 more runs, but Luke Hochevar finally got a strikeout to end it.
Jarrod Dyson had a big game for the Royals with 3 hits, 3 RBI and 2 runs, and 2 stolen bases. I was also really impressed with Salvador Perez. In addition to the moonshot of a home run, he also picked a runner off of first base, and had 1 more hit and RBI.