Well that wasn't exactly a fun game. Aside from the burst of life from the offense in the bottom of the fifth, today's game was pretty ugly. The game started out innocently enough. There was a minor defensive blunder, but Liriano was able to end the first inning without any runs scored. Even better, the Twins scored in the bottom of the first inning-for the first time all year. Up one run, Frankie managed to settle down a bit for the second and third innings, with a couple of nasty strikeouts and a bunch of groundouts. The Twins don't do much offensively, and we move to the fourth.
Notes, studs, and duds after the jump.
Oh, the fourth inning. How I loathe you. Let's recap quickly, shall we?
Single, single, single, single, single, single. Yeah, that is actually how the inning started. Liriano's pitching wasn't terrible, and there were certainly some defensive miscues behind him, but he was clearly pitching to contact, and that was clearly not working out so well for him. Escobar was picked off 2B for a free out, and a couple ground outs later, the inning was finally over, with the Royals up 6-1. I will just insert part of my game notes to let you all know how awfully frustrating I found that inning:
FINALLY WE HAVE ONE OUT! Celebration!...[3rd out is recorded] Frankie Ks Cabrera to end the inning (FINALLY AND MERCIFULLY, it is now clear Kansas City came in to Target Field with the goal of crushing our hopes and dreams and stealing our style of baseball).
So, yeah, it wasn't pleasant to witness, and it would prove to be all the Royals needed to keep hold of the lead. The bottom of the fourth, Delmon hits a leadoff double and the others do nothing to move him forward. Stop me if you've heard this one before.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Twins decide to get our hopes up and bit and rally for four runs, making the game 6-5. The Twins hit around on Davies a bit, raising his pitch count to 80 before the inning ended. With a Valencia fly out to Francoeur, the inning ended, and the Twins would not score again.
The Royals will score again in the sixth inning, and then again in the ninth. And oh, how fun the ninth inning was. Alex Gordon knocked in a couple of runs on a shattered-bat double, and Francoeur's sacrifice fly brings another one home. Finally (and again, mercifully) the inning ends with a Betemit line drive to 1b.
Bottom of the ninth wasn't much to write home about. Denard Span singles up the middle, Tolbert flies out in foul territory, and Alex Aviles makes a really nice catch in foul territory to send Jason Kubel back to the bench. Span goes to second base on defensive indifference, and Justin Morneau strikes out to end the game. Royals win, and Twins fans remain frustrated.
-Everyone fielding today. That was all ugly, don't do it again.
-Francisco Liriano: 5 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
-D. Hughes: We loved you, you let us down today. 0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB
Pavano and his not-as-glorious facial hair take on Tampa Bay tomorrow night. Don't miss it!