Royals wait, beat Twins 3-1

Slider mania. - Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Better late than never as the Royals rally in the eighth for the win in the home opener.

Entering the eighth inning, the Royals had five hits and were down 1-0 to the Twins. This had the makings of a rerun of the show we saw exactly a week ago in Chicago. Then, a Lorenzo Cain double, a Chris Getz bunt and an Alex Gordon single tied the game. An Alcides Escobar double broke the deadlock and chased Twins starter Kevin Correia. Our man Billy Butler added insurance with a single.

Ballgame. Just like that.

Despite my pregame snark, Ervin Santana kept the ball in the yard and held the Twins to just a single run on eight hits. He walked one batter and whiffed seven, throwing almost 75 percent of his pitches for strikes.

Quite the turnaround from last week.

Santana's fastball averaged 93 mph, up almost three mph from his debut outing of 2013. If we're going to infer anything from this, it's that the PITCHf/x gun at The K is warm again this year.

According to PITCHf/x, Santana threw 51 fastballs, 48 sliders and four change-ups. The slider was flat dominant for him on Monday. He threw it for a strike 75 percent of the time and generated 14 swings and misses.

From Brooks Baseball, his velocity trended downward throughout the game. His last pitch registered at around 92 mph, about 2 mph off his average:

Santana4_8_medium

Santana is probably on his way to a season of bizarre home/road splits.

Aaron Crow came on to close the game for the Royals. There's probably some talk of closer controversy after Greg Holland's last two games, but there shouldn't be any of that discussion... At this time. Holland was likely unavailable after appearing in back to back games and throwing 35 pitches. He also needed 20 pitches to close out the Royals first win of the season. Kelvin Herrera is coming off a stretch where he worked three of the last four games. Crow was next in line.

If it were up to me, that would be how the bullpen would work. You have three solid guys at the back, so why not move them around? We all know that ain't happening.

I think Yost has flashed a quick trigger in switching guys out who have struggled. Holland is still the closer and the team won't admit it, but he's on a short leash.

Other notes:

-- While I am generally anti-bunt, I was on board with the Getz sacrifice in the eighth. They needed that run and at the very least I expected Gordon to get the ball in the air to tie the game.

-- Jeff Francoeur saw six pitches in three plate appearances.

-- The Royals paid tribute to Paul Splittorff - who started the first game at the stadium - in a pregame ceremony honoring the 40th anniversary of The K. Nice touch having Jamie Splittorff throw the first pitch to John Mayberry who hit the first home run at the yard. And always good to see the alumni return.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Royals Review

You must be a member of Royals Review to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Royals Review. You should read them.

Join Royals Review

You must be a member of Royals Review to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Royals Review. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker