Adalberto Mondesi is the type of player who can carry a club when healthy. He demonstrated that Monday with a two-run home run and a defensive gem in the Royals’ 7-3 victory over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.
That makes the hamstring injury he apparently suffered, according to The Athletic, so alarming.
The Royals have to wait and see how serious it is heading into the second game of the quick two-game series Tuesday night. The Pirates will send Wil Crowe (0-3, 5.67 ERA) to the mound to face Brady Singer (2-4, 4.91). Neither pitcher has faced Tuesday’s opponent before.
Mondesi left the game for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the eighth. In the top of the inning, he had charged a slow roller and retired Kevin Newman at first.
His departure was looming over a gloomy post-game reaction.
“I hated to see him come out of the game right there,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “He had a tweak in his hamstring, so we’re trying to get our eyes on what that is.
“That was a really good (defensive) 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.”
Mondesi also hit a long home run to break open a one-run game in the fifth. The 417-foot blast had a little too much arc to call it a line drive, but it left the yard quickly.
“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.”
The Pirates, who are coming off an 8-20 record in May, and Crowe are hoping for better days ahead.
Crowe has gone more than five innings only once in his six starts. In his last outing, which came against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, he lasted just 1 1/3 innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, plus two walks, with one strikeout.
He had trouble finding the strike zone, with a strike rate of less than 50 percent.
“I was out there grinding, trying to get that one pitch, that one count, that one batter to click for me, and it never did,” Crowe said.
Pirates manager Derek Shelton said he really didn’t have much choice but to remove Crowe.
“He was behind a lot,” Shelton said. “Normally when you’re behind and your fastball is in the zone you can pitch with it. But the fastball was not effective, not in the zone. I thought at that point, our best chance to win was to go to our bullpen.”
Singer also was ineffective in his last outing. He gave up six runs on four hits in 2 2/3 innings against host Tampa Bay on Thursday. The Rays scored three runs in the first inning and three more in the third.
“I think a couple of those mistakes in the first inning set the tone, and he had trouble getting his rhythm back,” Matheny said after the game. “I thought he looked pretty good coming out of the gate. He gets to an 0-2 count and hits a guy, then a walk. The next thing you know, he’s got a 28-pitch first inning.”
–Field Level Media