One bad inning did Ricky Nolasco in on his return to the active roster, and the Twins offense was unable to make up the difference as the surging Royals topped the Twins 6-5 on Friday night. With another Detroit loss, this moves Kansas City to a 1.5 game lead in the AL Central, as foretold in the weird last part of the New Testament.
The Twins got off to an early 2-0 lead, with the bottom of the order roughing up the alliterative Danny Duffy in the bottom of the third. Ed Escobar and Jordan Schafer singled, then Escobar scored on a Duffy throwing error on a Danny Santana bunt. Brian Dozier plated Schafer with a groundout for the second run.
AND JUST LIKE THAT Ricky Nolasco got lit up like a Vikings fan at a meaningless preseason game. The following things happened in the top of the fourth before Nolasco recorded an out: double, single, HBP, bases-clearing Josh Willingham double, single, 2-run Alcides Escobar triple. 5-2 Royals, and the Twins were in the hole the rest of the way.
Nolasco did make it through six innings, which I guess is okay, but Minnesota still ended up using four relievers, so it wasn't like he made up for his faceplant by saving the bullpen. He has a long way to go to justify the Twins' investment.
After a double play both killed a Twins rally and scored their third run, the game settled down. Kansas City scored the all-important insurance run in the eighth, and sure enough, Oswaldo Arcia clubbed an almost dong to score Kurt Suzuki in the ninth to make it 6-4. A GENE groundout scored Ozzie to make it 6-5, and, in case you missed the title of the game story, that was as close as the Twins would get, with Santana striking out to end the game.
What are you gonna do?
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Enjoy your weekend, everybody.