As was a trend in this series, the Pale Blue Crew took the first lead. Whit Merrifield and Jorge Soler greeted Jose Berrios with singles, Soler’s a 392-foot blast that hit the top of the wall and only saw Merrifield advance to second base. Salvador Perez moved the runners over with a fly ball before Hunter Dozier, in his first plate appearance of 2020, singled against the shift to bring them both home.
After the Twins tied the score in the third, the lineup cycled back around and Kansas City grabbed the lead right back, Merrifield walking, moving to third on Soler’s end-of-the-bat single, and scoring on Pérez’ sacrifice fly.
On Berríos’ third trip through the lineup in the fifth, the Royals nearly cracked the lead wider, loading the bases with two outs before Berríos struck out Alex Gordon. But Maikel Franco started the sixth inning by launching a solo home run inside the left field foul pole, closing the scoring.
In contrast to Berríos’ early struggles, Kansas City starter Brady Singer put up a strong start, retiring seven in a row to start the game before allowing the Twins to tie the score in the third. With one out, Byron Buxton singled off Singer’s throwing hand; Singer stayed in the game, but he threw the ball away on a pickoff attempt and Buxton advanced 180 feet. After Alex Avila walked, Max Kepler lined an RBI double to right, halving the deficit. That deficit became zero one batter later when Jorge Polanco grounded to short, a grounder deep enough to score Avila.
Singer (who earned his first MLB win) departed after five innings, allowing just the two runs, and the Twins couldn’t do anything against a bullpen trio of Greg Holland, Josh Staumont, and Scott Barlow.
Minnesota doesn’t get much time to nurse their wounds before continuing their road trip, attempting to end their now-four-game losing streak against the Milwaukee Brewers.
THESE PEOPLE DID WELL:
- RP Cory Gearrin (Twins debut, 2020 debut): 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K
- RP Tyler Clippard: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 inherited runner stranded
- DH Nelson Cruz: 2-4
- UTIL Marney Gellner: continued psychic connection with Marwin Gonzalez (excellent defensive play while she was speaking)
THESE GUYS DIDN’T:
- 1B Miguel Sano: 0-4, 2 K
- SP José Berríos: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R (all earned), 3 BB, 4 K
- Twins with RISP: 1-5 (Kepler’s double)
- “pace of play”: 3:16 game time after 0:25 delay
COMMENT OF THE GAME THREAD:
Sod it, Joel can have it. Maybe that’ll get the Twins back to winning.
Sunday mornin’, very few comin’ down. So it goes.