Eibner's clutch hit sets off dandy celebration

Royals rookie follows up solid debut with 1st RBI, walk-off win

Eibner's clutch hit sets off dandy celebration

KANSAS CITY -- If you thought Royals rookie Brett Eibner's head was spinning on Friday night when he made his Major League debut and got his first hit, that didn't even compare to what transpired for him in Saturday's 8-7 walk-off win.

Eibner came up with the bases loaded and two out in the ninth with the Royals and White Sox tied at 7 after the Royals had rallied for six runs in the inning.

Want more drama? How about having the count go to 3-2?

No problem. Eibner, who already had doubled and scored in the inning, smashed a liner off first baseman Jose Abreu and the rookie had his first RBI and his first walk-off win. Eibner then got tackled by his teammates in a wild celebration.

Eibner, Butera get soaked

"It's an incredible feeling," Eibner said. "I didn't think I could beat yesterday. I don't think I could draw it up any better on Day 2.

"I was just trying to do what I can to help the team out. After I got down two strikes, I was just trying to put it in play and make them do something with it.

"When it got to 3-2, that pitch was right there. I couldn't have asked for a better pitch. I stayed on it and then I ran as hard as I could."

Eibner said trying to catch up to reliever Tommy Kahnle's heat was no easy matter.

"Him throwing 98 above your belt -- it looks flat and right there, but then it's past you," Eibner said. "After those first two or three pitches, I kind of settled down and took a deep breath and just battled."

But Kahnle's heat kept coming.

"I was trying to waste some of those pitches," Eibner said. "They were too close to take. I just wanted to get something to handle. Then he mixed in a slider and I fouled that off, and then he came back with two fastballs down in the zone, and the last one was right there."

Eibner seemed a little surprised he was able to foul off the slider amid all the fastballs.

"I didn't see it coming," he said. "It was pure reaction. I saw the spin and just reacted to foul it off."

And now Eibner will have another memory that trumps his debut.

"It's been pretty crazy," he said. "But we got two wins. They brought me up to help this team out. And I've felt I've put together some good at-bats for us."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.