If there was one thing that was clear this evening, it was that Jeremy Guthrie was hellbent on giving the Twins the lead.
In the first inning, Guthrie quickly ceded two runs to the slappy attack of the Twins.
The Royals offense added two runs in the bottom of the first. After taking three innings, Guthrie allowed another two Twins runs to give the visiting, cellar-dwelling Twins a 4 - 2 lead.
After scraping together two separate rallies in successive innings, Guthrie gave an emphatic middle finger to the Royals offense and spotted the Twins another run in the top of the sixth.
Thankfully, when the Royals acquired Raul Ibanez, he replaced all the Royals with pod people. These Pod People Royals--and clearly this is the most logical explanation for how the Royals suddenly do things like score runs and come from behind to win--were not to be stopped by a measly one-run lead or the fact that they had allowed more than four runs, a total that the pre-pod people Royals didn't even know they could exceed.
The first big play from the Royals came in the top of the seventh, when Pod Lorenzo Cain made a game-saving catch on the warning track. While it looked like the leap may have been unnecessary, Oswaldo Arcia's blast that seemed destined to get blown out to deep center would surely have plated a sixth Twins' run in the form of Kennys Vargas, who reached on a one-out fielding error to Pod Alcides Escobar (apparently Pod Escobar still needs some work on routine grounders).
The next one came in the home half of the seventh, when MVP candidate Alex Gordon, who is probabably too awesome to succumb to pod-replacement technology, stood in the box, reached out, and with one hand hanged a dong that were it not for his magnificent dong-hanging two nights back would have been the most glorious dong hung in the history of hanging dong. If there is anything more pleasing than an Alex Gordon hung dong with the game on the line, the world would undoubtedly undergo a cataclysmic event akin to the comet that wiped out the dinosaurs under the pressure of such an event.
After Salvador Perez's cannon and a deft tag from Pod Escobar wiped out Greg Holland's walk to Brian Dozier in the ninth, the Pod Royals held the status quo.
Of course, if Gordon did it again to end the game in the ninth, the structural integrity of the planet and likely the time-space continuum would have been seriously compromised. Too many earth-shattering dong hangings in such close succession would simply be tempting a fate worse than mere mortals could comprehend.
After a quiet home half of the ninth, Ned Yost turned to Bruce "Junkballs" Chen to try to take care of the Twins in the top of the tenth. After a surprising strikeout of Kennys Vargas, Junkballs hung a curve that Oswaldo Arcia took to deep left-center. With the outfield defense realigned after Pod Jarrod Dyson was inserted into the line-up, Dyson was unable to reel in the long fly ball, and Arcia ended up standing at third. Then Ol' Junkballs intentionally walked Trevor Plouffe. Then he walked Joe Mauer. Then Eduardo Nunez singled sharply to shallow center, plating just one run. Then Jordan Schafer singled in two more on a bloop single to shallow left. After an infield fly ball, Brian Dozier laced a double up the first base line. Then Kurt Suzuki doubled in another run. Finally, mercifully, Kennys Vargas--the only Twin that Junkballs can get out with ease--came to the plate, and the inning was over.
Before Junkballs was done, the Twins were wearing an 11 - 5 lead and the Royals were wearing a gorilla mask of the Junkballs variety.
Now this recap has changed tone pretty erratically at least three times, which I suppose is a testament to the Royals' play of late. The fact that these Pod Royals could even have tricked me into starting a recap in the fifth inning and that there was any point in that game in which a loss did not seem certain is somewhat shocking. These Pod Royals have quelled the calls for #anustart for the time being--wait until the offseason.
Of course not even the Pod Royals can come back from a Junkballs implosion. Pod Mike Moustakas took a ball the opposite way--don't worry, he still had an infield fly ball earlier to quiet suspicion of performance-enhancing pods--but he was the only baserunner the Royals managed in the bottom of the tenth.
The Tigers winnowed the Royals' lead in the division down to a slim 1.5 games with a win over the Yankees earlier this afternoon. The Tigers are now tied with the Mariners for the second wild card spot as well.