The Bomba Squad was ready for their late-afternoon nap today — with Jorge Polanco and Nelson Cruz accounting for Minnesota’s only two hits, there wasn’t much chance of any rally. The Twins were lucky to score twice en route to a sleepy Saturday split.
Both starters had jams to contend with in the first inning; a couple of two-out walks filled Jose Berrios’ bases, but he managed three strikeouts and no runs let in. Mitch Garver led off the home half by reaching on an error, and came around to score on a Marwin Gonzalez sac fly.
Three second-inning singles would put the Royals on the board, and a fourth-inning three-run homer by Whit Merrifield would make it 4-1 Kansas City. The blast was set up by another pair of walks — Berrios issued four free passes in four innings of work, all while seeing his ERA tick up to 5.92.
Minnesota’s last hit of the day came in the fourth inning, as Nelson Cruz blasted another one off a deck facing — this time, the limestone above the center field batter’s eye. All told, Cruz had nearly 1,000 feet worth of home run ball today (and almost had more, had Alex Gordon not been able to knock one back from the wall in the first game.)
Probably the only other bright spot was youngster Jorge Alcala pitching a pair of shutout innings.
Danny Duffy struck out eight Twins through five innings of work. Royal closer Trevor Rosenthal is getting peskier by the day — after a leadoff walk to Kepler that brought the tying run up, he fanned three straight Twins to end the ballgame.
The series ends tomorrow afternoon — the Twins will be looking to bounce back from this loss and go for the series win.
DH Nelson Cruz (1-for-3, HR)
SP Jose Berrios (4 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 7 K)
Most of the offense, but specifically 1B Miguel Sano and LF Jake Cave (0-for-6, 6 K)
ROBOT ROLL CALL:
COTG: TJ has something to say about Berrios’ sticky first-inning situation.
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