Tough losses happen. In the last fortnight of the season, locked in a pennant race and facing the 99-loss Kansas City Royals, tough losses sting a little bit more.
The Twins and Royals went into the ninth inning knotted up at five apiece, but a miserable inning unraveled, and Kansas City walked away with the victory in the third game of the four-game weekend set.
Let’s make our way to that fateful inning. In a somewhat shaky second, Jose Berrios allowed an RBI double and a sacrifice fly to stake an early 2-0 lead for the Royals. The Twins chipped away in the third, with LaMonte Wade, Jr. hitting his second homer of the year to halve the lead.
Then, the Bomba Squad lit the fuse in the fifth. Wade tripled to lead things off, and Luis Arraez immediately doubled him home. A mound visit by Kansas City proved ineffective, as Jorge Polanco walked, and Nelson Cruz singled home Arraez to make it a 3-2 Twins lead. Royals starter Glenn Sparkman was held to a short leash, and the bullpen came in for Kansas City.
Miguel Sano and Willians Astudillo both knocked in runs later in the inning; it was a 5-2 Twins lead when all was said and done.
Unfortunately, the Royals were not said and done. They tied things up in the next half-inning, with Ryan McBroom knocking an RBI single, and Ryan O’Hearn drilling a game-tying two-run homer. Jose Berrios has had better outings; his final line included five earned runs and eight hits in just six innings.
Tyler Duffey and Sergio Romo did their usual work, each throwing scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth. But when Taylor Rogers entered for the ninth, the game exploded.
It’s best explained as briefly as possible. Here’s how the inning went:
- sac bunt
- 2-run homer by Cheslor Cuthbert
- Ground-rule, fan-interfered double
- Trevor Hildenberger enters the game
Still just that one out!
- RBI double
- Steal of third
- RBI single
- Another single
- RBI single, complete with a runner advancing because Miguel Sano abandoned third base
- Walk to fill ‘em up
- See ya, Hildy - here comes Jorge Alcala out of the pen
How many outs? That’s right, still just one.
- RBI single to make it 11-5
- Bases-loaded walk to Cheslor Cuthbert
- The fourth mound visit of the inning
- Pop-out to left field
Count em, that’s SEVEN runs on eight hits and two walks. And if you’re counting the minutes, “mefoolonhill” marked it down as 42. Hey, go Jackie Robinson.
We don’t...really need to keep talking about this game, do we? All right, if you’re so inclined to pry, if you absolutely must know, if for whatever reason you need to be aware of what the Twins did after that happened, then by all means, continue reading! But it’s games like these that make the following paragraphs feel a bit like the Terms and Conditions to your favorite software. Just a little bit longer to read, and then you can get down into the comments section and start calling for heads. Patience.
Anyway, Polanco popped out, Cruz struck out, and Rosie bounced out. Aren’t you glad you stuck it out for that one?
Credit to the Royals, who broke the game open against our closer and staved off their 100th loss for another night.
And credit to the Phillies, who beat Cleveland this evening, meaning even after all of that, Minnesota’s magic number to clinch the AL Central drops to four!
CF LaMonte Wade, Jr. (2-for-3, 2 R, HR, 3B, RBI, BB)
LF Eddie Rosario (0-for-5)
1B-RF Marwin Gonzalez (0-for-4, 2 K, 3 LOB)
RP Taylor Rogers (0.1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER)
RP Trevor Hildenberger (0.0 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, BB)
ROBOT ROLL CALL:
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