Emotional Night for the Royals
After honoring former bullpen ace Dan Quisenberry in an emotional pregame ceremony, the Royals went on to watch the Oakland Athletics score eight runs off five relievers--including two home runs by Mike Blowers--for a 10-4 victory Saturday night.
Blowers’ two-run homer in the eighth off Scott Service tied it 4-4 and his three-run shot off Matt Whisenant capped a six-run ninth that ended the Royals’ four-game winning streak.
“Our bullpen did the job tonight and theirs didn’t. Just the opposite of last night,” Oakland Manager Art Howe said. “That’s baseball. Mike Blowers came through with two big homers, especially the first one that tied it and gave us the momentum.”
It was one of the season’s most disappointing losses for the Royals, who began the evening by inducting Quisenberry into the Royals’ Hall of Fame in a ceremony that triggered several standing ovations and many tears from the crowd of 30,341.
“I’m so blessed,” said Quisenberry, 45, who underwent surgery for a malignant brain tumor in January. He began weeping and turned around to hug his wife, Janie, and their two teen-aged children. “I’ve got this great family. And I played in a special time in this city for the Kansas City Royals.” As he thanked his former teammates, the big Jumbotron camera caught former second baseman Frank White, now the Royals’ first base coach, standing near first base and sobbing.
Even Blowers admitted he was caught up in the emotion.
“As a kid in high school in Seattle, I went to a lot of games and watched Dan break my heart getting Mariners out,” he said. “But any time something like this happens for a player, it’s a special feeling. I don’t know Dan at all. But it was a great feeling.”
The A’s went ahead, 5-4, in the ninth when Matt Stairs scored on Dean Palmer’s error. Scott Spiezio added a two-run single before Blowers hit his fourth home run of the season.
Stairs singled leading off the ninth against Hipolito Pichardo (2-3) and went to second when Ryan Christensen singled off the pitcher’s glove. Miguel Tejada then laid down a bunt, but third baseman Palmer’s throw to third for the force was wild.