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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Royals credit Peter Moylan’s espresso machine for helping with turnaround

After they were essentially left for dead early on in the season, the Kansas City Royals have showed plenty of life as of late. The team has won seven of its last eight games and is now 11-5 in the month of June, and caffeine has played a big role in the newfound success.

Relief pitcher Peter Moylan has an espresso machine in his locker, and Royals players have slowly begun to rely on it. As Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star discovered, Moylan makes a special concoction featuring creamy espresso blended with chocolate milk and served over ice. Moylan calls it “The Slegde-iatto,” and his teammates are loving it.

“It’s a little bit of a secret weapon,” second baseman Whit Merrifield said.

Moylan, a coffee lover from Australia who owns his own cafe in his home country, ordered a $599 espresso machine to keep in the clubhouse back in April.

“We need to have good coffee here,” Moylan explained. “We don’t have instant coffee in Australia.”

Some Royals players were hesitant at first. Outfielder Alex Gordon, who is very careful about anything he puts in his body, was one of them. But when he had his first cup of Moylan’s special drink on May 13 and then went on to enjoy a 19-game hitting streak, the results were tough to argue with. In fact, Gordon took the liberty of buying his own espresso machine so Moylan could put his barista skills to work on the road.

“I was never really a coffee drinker, ever,” Gordon said. “It’s kind of an iced coffee espresso and chocolate milk. You’ll have to ask Peter. He’s the master. He kind of got me hooked on it. So coffee it is.”

Not every Royals player swears by “The Sledge-iatto.” Starting pitcher Ian Kennedy is a very picky coffee drinker and won’t do espresso. Manager Ned Yost tries to limit his coffee intake, and for very good reason.

“I stay away from the coffee,” Yost said. “It gets me thrown out of games.”

If you remember, one of the best teams in the NBA recently had an espresso connoisseur in their locker room, so Moylan isn’t the first. But with the Royals now just 3.5 games out of first in the AL Central and on somewhat of a tear, the secret potion seems as important as any in sports.

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