Royals salvage split

Lynn Worthy The Kansas City Star (TNS)
Brad Keller of the Kansas City Royals pitches in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020. The Royals won, 5-4, behind Keller's six scoreless innings of work.

Kansas City Royals right-hander Brad Keller pitched six scoreless innings and thoroughly stifled the Cincinnati Reds' offense. But the Reds immediately made noise when Keller exited the game and it became a nail-biter.

The Reds had men on base in both the eighth and the ninth innings, but the Royals held on for a 5-4 win at Great American Ball Park Wednesday night to earn a split of the two-game series heading into a day off Thursday.

The Royals have now won five of their last six.

Salvador Perez extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a third-inning home run. He was 3 for 5 with a double, the homer, three RBIs and two runs scored. He came within a triple of hitting for the cycle. Perez entered the night batting .311 with nine RBIs.

Whit Merrifield had a double, an RBI, a walk and a run, while Hunter Dozier walked three times. The Royals (8-11) walked eight times and scored one run in the first, third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings. They led from start to finish despite not having one breakout offensive inning.

Keller limited Reds hitters to two singles over six scoreless innings in his second start of the season. He walked three and struck out three in a 90-pitch outing.