I really thought I was going to write the “Taylor Rogers struggled again and blew a lead” recap. It wasn’t his prettiest save of the year, but this time he got the job done. In order to get there though, lets back up a couple hours.
The Twins trotted out their recently-successful combination of opener Matt Wisler and bulk pitcher Devin Smeltzer, which we will likely see again, as it was successful. Thanks to a good performance on the mound for most of the night, and the scorching hot bat of Miguel Sano, the Twins never trailed.
Kris Bubic, who we will likely see a lot of in the future, as he appears to be a future rotation mainstay in Kansas City, got into a little trouble in the first, and the Twins produced a little two-out scoring outburst. With Max Kepler on first thanks to a walk, Miguel Sano clobbered a line drive past Bubba Starling (who’s name I just really like typing) in center field for a RBI double. Eddie Rosario brought Sano in for a second RBI, and gave Wisler a two-run cushion before he stepped foot onto the field.
The Twins and Royals traded two runs each in the third, bring the score to the infamous 4-2. All games between these two squads must, at some point, be 4-2. It is decreed. For the Twins, singles to the left side of the field put both Nelson Cruz and Miguel Sano on the pond. Marwin Gonzalez brought both ducks back in, and briefly opened the lead to four. Another RBI double for the good guys.
The bottom of the inning was probably just a result of Smeltzer not being in a groove yet. He hit the first batsman he faced, and then got two quick outs on balls in play. Back-to-back doubles into the left field corner by Hunter Dozier and Jorge Soler brought in the only two runs charged to Smeltzer, although he only worked two innings. That would be the tally on the board until the seventh inning.
Sean Poppen gave up a run in the seventh that closed the gap to 4-3. Well really the run came in on Sergio Romo’s watch, but Poppen put the runner on.
Nelson Cruz should probably get a big bottle of something from Taylor Rogers tonight though. It was Cruz’s ninth inning Bomba that gave the Twins that fifth run, and sealed the victory. In the bottom of the ninth, Rogers came on with a two-run lead, a save situation. Rogers gave up a one-out double to Hunter Dozier, and a two-out single to Maikel Franco that scored a run for the Royals and put the go-ahead man at the plate. Fortunately a flyout to left field by Alex Gordon ended the threat, and the game.
Miguel Sano: 3-4, RBI, double, BB
Nelson Cruz: 2-3, RBI, HR, 2 BB
Marwin Gonzalez: 2-4. 2 RBI, double, BB
No Duds! Twins win. The season series with the Royals ends in a tie.