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Royals 5, Twins 2: Bullpen carousel can’t stymie Kansas City

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Well, it could have been MORE heartbreaking.

Kansas City Royals Photo Day
This is the face of the man who beat us.
Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images

The Twins never held a commanding lead in this one -- in fact, their 2-1 advantage in the 6th was their only position of power -- but still found a way to make things disappointing in the end.

First of all, Jose Berrios was on his game tonight. Backed by his usually solid defense, he limited the Royals to two runs on eight hits in seven strong innings of work. On the flip side, Kansas City starter Jakob Junis was similarly capable, pitching 6.1 innings, allowing two runs of his own, and striking out seven.

The long ball did it for the Twins tonight, as nine different hits were recorded by the Minnesota offense, but only two runs were scratched across. Those runs were courtesy of homers by Eduardo Escobar (his 17th, in the 3rd) and Byron Buxton (his 14th, in the 6th.)

Alex Gordon homered to tie the ballgame at two runs each in the 7th, and then it got wacky.

Ryan Pressly started the bottom of the 8th. After allowing a single and a walk, he was removed in favor of Buddy Boshers. Boshers allowed a first-pitch RBI single to Eric Hosmer that gave the Royals the lead. This brought in Tyler Duffey, who allowed a first-pitch RBI double to Salvador Perez.

After intentionally walking Mike Moustakas, Taylor Rogers entered. Rogers got Brandon Moss to line out to Eddie Rosario on the first pitch, leaving all the runners where they were. This brought Alan Busenitz into the game, who let in another run on a first-pitch sacrifice fly off the bat of Alcides Escobar.

So, if you’re keeping score: three consecutive pitches were thrown by three different Twins pitchers, and four consecutive Royals batters completed their plate appearances in one pitch (or less, in the case of Moose’s intentional pass.)

After finally finishing the inning, the Twins had to face Brandon Maurer in the 9th. Robbie Grossman was the only man to reach, and Kansas City snapped the Twins’ three-game winning streak.

Studs:

SP Jose Berrios (7.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER)

CF Byron Buxton (2-for-3, BB, HR)

C Jason Castro (2-for-4, threw out Merrifield on a steal attempt)

Duds:

2B Brian Dozier (0-for-5, 1 K, 4 LOB)

SS Jorge Polanco (0-for-3, 3 K)

ROBOT ROLL CALL: