KANSAS CITY –The Royals took advantage of a ninth-inning error to rally for a 3-2 win over the visiting Washington Nationals on Sunday afternoon. With one out, MJ Melendez reached second when first baseman Dominic Smith misplayed a grounder. One out later, Michael Massey's hit to right field gave the Royals their second walk-off win of the year.
Solo home runs by Melendez in the seventh inning and Edward Olivares in the eighth forged a tie. Melendez connected for the first time since May 8, his fifth of the year, and Olivares for the first time since May 10, his fourth. Scott Barlow (2-3) picked up the win by pitching a hitless ninth inning, while Chad Kuhl (0-3) was the hard-luck loser. After surrendering a leadoff double in the first, Nationals starter MacKenzie Gore retired 19 of the next 21 batters and allowed just three balls out of the infield before Melendez's one-out homer in the seventh. Gore struck out a career-high 11 while matching his career best with seven innings, allowing a run on three hits and a walk. Ildemaro Vargas' one-out double off the top of the left-field wall opened the scoring for Washington in the fourth. Michael Chavis followed with an RBI hit to center, giving the Nationals a 2-0 lead.
Chavis and Smith each had two of Washington's eight hits. Lane Thomas wasted no time extending his career-best hitting streak to 13 games, lining the game's first pitch into the left-field corner for a double. Thomas has an on-base streak of 24 games since May 3, hitting safely in 22 of those games and batting .320 (32-for-100) with 14 extra-base hits. Royals starter Daniel Lynch made his season debut in a return from the 10-day injured list (left shoulder strain). He was lifted after 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out six. Kansas City won for just the fourth time in 15 games and have dropped 14 of 17 series this year. After victories on Friday and Saturday, the Nationals have again won a series against the Royals, winning exactly two of three games across five series all-time.