I'm not going to lie, I didn't have high hopes for this game. We were going up against the Royals ace, Edinson Volquez, with our 5th starter Ricky Nolasco. Combine that with a struggling lineup and things weren't looking good going into this game.
Nolasco was able to use his breaking pitches effectively to keep the Royals off balance. At times he struggled with his control, but never walked anyone. He and Volquez traded 0's for 5 innings before the Twins broke through in the 6th. Rosario singled, and Mauer hit a single of his own. Then, Sano got his first RBI of the year with a single to right. After strikeouts from Park and Escobar, Nunez got a single to drive in Mauer, 2-0 Twins. That ended the day for Edinson Volquez, 5.2 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 10 K.
With two outs in the 6th, Mike Moustakas tagged a HR to right-center, cutting the lead to 2-1. That's all the Royals would get from Nolasco, however, as he pitched a clean 7th and exited with 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 5 K.
Brian Dozier belted his first HR of the year to left in the top of the 7th, pushing the lead back to two at 3-1.
Miguel Sano struck out looking to end the 7th, and clearly did not agree with the call from John Hirschbeck and had some choice words for him. Of course, you can't do that, so he got ejected. You can take a look here at the call. Clearly outside, but Sano has to find a way to keep himself in the ballgame in that situation. Max Kepler came into the game to replace him.
After a scoreless inning from Kevin Jepsen, Perkins came on to try to save the game and seal the win. (Right about here is where I foolishly started writing the recap, so I'll take some blame for this) The first out came on the first pitch as Moustakas flew out. The Royals hitters went to work though, as Lorenzo Cain hit a single, and scored on a triple from Eric Hosmer. Kendrys Morales hit a sac fly to tie the game. Remember when he was bad for us?
Perkins was able to keep the game tied, at least, but picked up a blown save moving the game to extra innings.
Trevor May was tasked to pitch the bottom of the tenth with the game tied. He walked the eighth hitter, Christian Colon, who was replaced by speedster Terrance Gore. An attempted pick-off to first got by Park, allowing Gore to go to third. May fought back for 2 outs but a wild pitch scored Gore from third and dropped the Twins to 0-6. Walks will haunt.
The offensive woes continued today. The Twins struck out 14 times. A Joe Mauer single in the 4th was followed by three strikeouts. They had a chance in the 9th to add more runs with Buxton on 2nd with nobody out but Dozier and Rosario struck out. Joe Mauer was intentionally walked, Kepler walked to fill the bases, but Park struck out to end the threat.
The bullpen may have lost the lead, but the offense didn't do the team many favors. The Royals are an opportunistic team, the Twins need to take advantage of their opportunities if they want to climb out of the cellar. Hopefully, playing at home will provide better results. They've got to win a game sometime, right?
Joe Mauer (3-3, BB)
Eduardo Nunez (4-4)
Most of the Twins hitters
ROBOT ROLL CALL:
|5||less cowbell, more 'neau||21|
|6||Can't Read Good||21|
|7||Bloopers and Practical Jokes||18|
|21||Manna from Heaven||1|