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Royals 5, Twins 4: Baseball is weird

A controversial check swing call cost the Twins the lead in the 7th inning.

Kansas City Royals v Minnesota Twins
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

This game was so back-and-forth I think it gave me whiplash.

After scoring 17 runs last night, the Twins offense went to work against confirmed major league starter Ian Kennedy. They didn’t get a hit off of him until the 4th inning, but more on that later.

The Royals struck first in the 4th inning on 3 straight singles off of Twins’ ace Ervin Santana.

The Twins finally scored in the 5th inning, as Eduardo Escobar hit a 2-run blast to right, scoring himself and Byron Buxton (who tripled earlier).

We couldn’t feel happy for long, though, as Lorenzo Cain singled and Melky Cabrera homered to give the Royals a 3-2 lead.

In the bottom of the 6th, Byron Buxton hit a bloop single to drive in 2, giving the Twins a 4-3 lead.

But, once again, the Royals came back. With 2 outs in the 7th, Alcides Escobar hit a single against Santana, forcing Alan Busenitz into the game. Nitzy walked the first man he faced, Whit Merrifield, bringing Lorenzo Cain to the plate. He fouled off the first 4 pitches, but swung and missed on the 5th, ending the inning.

At least, that’s what should have happened. What actually happened was Cain checked his swing, the HP umpire Marty Foster asked 1B ump Mike Muchlinski for help, and he called him safe. Paul Molitor was not pleased, and was ejected rather quickly.

Two pitches later, Cain hit a 2-run triple to center field, giving the Royals a 5-4 lead. He tried for an inside-the-park HR, but was thrown out. Who does he think he is, Byron Buxton?

In the 8th, Cain robbed Mitch Garver of extra bases by catching a screaming line drive in center.

In the 9th, Eduardo Escobar reached 2nd on an error by LF Alex Gordon (what), but was stranded there to end the game.

The Twins lose the series to Kansas City, despite outscoring them 27-12, because baseball is weird.

Baltimore won today, so they pick up a game on us in the standings. But, good news everyone! The Angels are losing 7-3 to the Rangers (in the 8th)!

Update: Angels lose, 7-6. Twins maintain a 1.5 game lead in the wild card standings.


Trevor Hildenberger: 1.2 perfect innings.

Byron Buxton: 2-2, 2 RBI, 3B

Eduardo Escobar: 1-4, 2-run HR


Jorge Polanco: 0-4, 2 K

Chris Gimenez: 0-4, 2 K

Brian Dozier: 0-5

Robot roll call: