EditorsNote: Corrects "groundout" in ninth graf
Jorge Soler hit one of three Kansas City home runs as the Royals snapped a six-game losing streak with a 13-2 victory over the visiting Chicago Cubs on Thursday.
The Cubs lost for the first time in seven games.
The Royals took out a season's worth of frustration against the Cubs. They totaled a season-high 18 hits, 11 of those for extra bases.
Brad Keller (1-0) picked up the win in his season debut, throwing five scoreless innings. He was projected to be the Royals' Opening Day starter but tested positive for COVID-19 during summer camp. The right-hander benefited from the Royals' offensive outburst, but he was effective in allowing just three hits and two walks while striking out seven.
Cubs starter Tyler Chatwood (2-1) gave up eight runs and 11 hits in just 2 1/3 innings, fanning four and walking none. He had yielded just six hits and one run over 12 2/3 innings in his first two starts.
The Royals had scored more than five runs only once in their first 13 games, but they left little doubt they wore their hitting shoes Thursday. Every starter had at least one hit, and six batters knocked in two runs apiece.
Kansas City began the onslaught in the first inning. Soler scorched one up the middle with one out. He went to third on Salvador Perez's single and scored on Ryan O'Hearn's single.
Whit Merrifield hit a two-run home run in the second inning, and then the Royals strung together five consecutive hits to chase Chatwood in the third. Adalberto Mondesi stretched a single into a double before Alex Gordon lined a double off the wall in left center, scoring Mondesi. Franco then hit a home run, extending the lead to 6-0.
Nicky Lopez singled and scored on the first major league hit for Nick Heath, a double off the glove of right fielder Jason Heyward, which ended Chatwood's night. The Royals kept piling on in the inning, adding runs on Soler's groundout and Perez's double.
The Royals added two more runs in the fifth on RBI doubles by Perez and O'Hearn, and single runs in the seventh and eighth innings. The Cubs scored twice in the ninth.
--Field Level Media