ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Royals take advantage of D-backs’ shift, errors to score odd run

May 23, 2022, 8:05 PM | Updated: 11:38 pm
Kansas City Royals' Whit Merrifield (15) celebrates his home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks w...

Kansas City Royals' Whit Merrifield (15) celebrates his home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks with teammate Andrew Benintendi (16) during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Sometimes defensive shifts can put a team in a compromising situation and then it’s too late to fix it.

The Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night at Chase Field were a victim of this in a 9-5 win against the Kansas City Royals.

With a 4-3 Royals lead in the second inning, Kansas City right fielder and leadoff hitter Whit Merrifield hit a ground ball to short that required a diving stop from the D-backs’ Geraldo Perdomo. With Merrifield’s speed that allowed him to steal a league-leading 40 bases last year, it was an easy infield single.

From there, Royals left fielder Andrew Benintendi was up. After two pickoff attempts to Merrifield on first, he went to steal second with a 1-2 count.

Merrifield beat the throw to second but the play was only just starting because of the D-backs’ extreme shift for the left-handed hitter Benintendi. That shift had D-backs third baseman Drew Ellis on the opposite side of second base to his actual position and no one on the left side of the infield once Perdomo was covering second on the throw.

There were several issues for the D-backs on the play, beginning with the throw to second base getting away from Perdomo and no one covering third base for Ellis. Arizona manager Torey Lovullo clarified after the game it was starting pitcher Zach Davies who is supposed to get to third in that scenario.

Merrifield realized this right away and turned it into a foot race with Davies and Ellis to third base.

The next problem was Perdomo attempting to lob the ball to third, which he did so inaccurately.

Merrifield got up from his second head-first slide in a few seconds to go home and was fortunate that Ellis’ throw there was also not a good one as he improbably scored from first base.

Perdomo’s throw actually got a good bounce off the fence in front of the D-backs dugout and nearly let Ellis bail Arizona out.

“I saw us not execute very well and we don’t do that very often here,” Lovullo said. “We pride ourselves on getting in the right place at the right time. … Unfortunately we didn’t execute and we had a chance to but we didn’t.”

Merrifield was given a stolen base for second and errors were assigned to both Perdomo and Ellis.

Penguin Air
Kansas City Royals' Whit Merrifield (15) celebrates his home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks with teammate Andrew Benintendi (16) during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zach Davies, right, rubs up a new baseball after giving up a home run to Kansas City Royals' Bobby Witt Jr., left, during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Kansas City Royals' Bobby Witt Jr. (7) celebrates his home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks with teammate Hunter Dozier (17) during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Kansas City Royals' Bobby Witt Jr. follows through on a home run swing against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Kansas City Royals' Hunter Dozier (17) looks and points skyward as he arrives at home plate past umpire Cory Blaser, right, after hitting a home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Zack Greinke pauses near the mound after giving up a two-run home run to the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Diamondbacks' Pavin Smith flips his bat after hitting a two-run home run against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Diamondbacks' Christian Walker connects for a home run against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Diamondbacks' Pavin Smith (26) celebrates his two-run home run against the Kansas City Royals with teammate Daulton Varsho (12) during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Kansas City Royals' Emmanuel Rivera, right, hits a foul tip as Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Grayson Greiner, left, is unable to make a catch during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Kansas City Royals' Emmanuel Rivera is hit by a pitch by the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Kansas City Royals' MJ Melendez, right, advances to third as Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Drew Ellis, left, applies a late tag during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zach Davies throws against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Zack Greinke throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Diamondbacks' Christian Walker, right, celebrates his home run against the Kansas City Royals with teammate David Peralta, left, during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Kansas City Royals' Kyle Isbel, right, dives safely back to first base as Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Christian Walker, left, applies a late tag during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zach Davies, center, is helped up by Diamondbacks assistant athletic trainer Ryne Eubanks, front left, and manager Torey Lovullo (17) after being hit in the shin with a line drive by Kansas City Royals' Bobby Witt Jr. as Diamondbacks shortstop Geraldo Perdomo (2) and other teammates look on during the fourth inning of a baseball game Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Assistant athletic trainer Ryne Eubanks of the Arizona Diamondbacks looks at pitcher Zach Davies #27 after being hit with a line drive by Bobby Witt Jr #7 of the Kansas City Royals during the fourth inning at Chase Field on May 23, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. Witt Jr was safe at first base. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) Kansas City Royals third baseman Emmanuel Rivera fields a ground ball hit by Arizona Diamondbacks' Christian Walker before throwing to first base for an out during the fourth inning of a baseball game Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Diamondbacks' Pavin Smith scores a run against the Kansas City Royals during the fourth inning of a baseball game Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Diamondbacks' Jake McCarthy (30) celebrates runs scored by teammate Daulton Varsho (12) and Pavin Smith (26) against the Kansas City Royals during the fourth inning of a baseball game Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Luis Frias (65) shakes hands with Diamondbacks catcher Grayson Greiner, left, after a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks won 9-5. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Kansas City Royals third baseman Emmanuel Rivera is unable to make a play on a run-scoring single hit by Arizona Diamondbacks' Jake Hager during the seventh inning of a baseball game Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks won 9-5. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Kansas City Royals manager Mike Matheny watches the action on the field from the dugout during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks won 9-5. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo (17) replaces Diamondbacks relief pitcher Noe Ramirez during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Monday, May 23, 2022, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks won 9-5. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) David Peralta #6 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts after hitting an RBI single during the seventh inning against the Kansas City Royals at Chase Field on May 23, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. Diamondbacks won 9-5. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

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