The Kansas City Royals have been one of baseball's pleasant surprises this season and the story continued with a 7-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night. The big blow in this one was a sixth-inning, go-ahead grand slam for Royals left fielder MJ Melendez

The blow came on the 12th pitch of the at-bat, after Melendez had fouled off seven pitches, six of which came with two strikes. What an impressive battle there from which to emerge victorious. Here it is: 

Since pitch counts have been tracked, 1988, that is the third-longest at-bat that resulted in a grand slam behind Mookie Betts (July 12, 2018) and Gary Scott (April 20, 1992), both of whom went deep on the 13th pitch (per Sarah Langs). We can call that historic. Kudos to Melendez for hanging so tough. 

This also comes amid a terrible season for Melendez, personally, as he's now slashing .168/.231/.352. He was a career .227/.314/.396 hitter entering the season. He does now have eight homers and 23 RBI, so there's been some power, but the Royals could stand to see better consistency from the 25-year-old. 

The Royals move to 41-31 on the season. This victory had to feel extra sweet, given that they entered the game having lost five of their last six games. Most preseason projection systems had the Royals winning in the ballpark of 75 games this season, so to be approaching the halfway point of the season 10 games over .500 means they've done outstanding work in increasing their playoff odds. In fact, they currently occupy the second AL Wild Card spot.