The opportunities were there, but as they seem to have always done all season, the Twins squandered them.
Minnesota left 10 runners on base while the Royals rode a four-run fifth inning to a 6-3 victory and a series win.
The teams traded runs in the first inning, the Twins tying the score on a Trevor Larnach bases-loaded walk but leaving three men on on a Rob Refsnyder flyout. Both events presented a microcosm of the Twins’ game: the team walked seven times, but went 2-11 with runners in scoring position.
Although Ben Rortvedt rapped his first MLB home run in the second, Twins’ bats quieted down after that, while the Royals woke up in the fifth. Matt Shoemaker, who had retired 11 straight, allowed all six of the men he faced in the central frame to reach base, Kansas City going single-single-fielder’s choice-single-single-walk to take a 3-2 lead. Caleb Thielbar inherited both of Shoemaker’s remaining runners, and both scored, the first on a sacrifice fly, the second on another single.
The Twins opened the fifth with a Josh Donaldson double and Alex Kirilloff single, but scored only one run in the inning (on a Miguel Sanó GIDP), and would not tally a hit the rest of the way.
Kansas City added an insurance run on a solo homer in the ninth, but it didn’t matter.
RF Alex Kirilloff: 3-4, BB
C Ben Rortvedt: 1-3, HR
1B Miguel Sanó: 0-4, 3 K, GIDP
SP Matt Shoemaker: one brutal third of an inning
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COTG goes to everyone who sat through the fifth inning without breaking into sobs.