The Minnesota Twins put up a valiant season that came up just a bit short, as errors and Yordano Ventura eliminated them from postseason contention Saturday afternoon as the Royals won 5-1.
Ventura was sterling, as he has been for the better part of two months, taking a no-hit bid into the fifth for the second straight game before yielding a single to Torii Hunter. He finished the day giving up one earned run on just four hits and three walks with eleven strikeouts in seven innings. He opened the game by striking out the side.
The Royals offense was, for the most part, baffled by Tommy Mee-Yo-N, who scattered base runners and worked out of a few jams to put up a quality start, giving up one run on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts. Lorenzo Cain went 3-for-4 with two doubles and an intentional walk. Mike Moustakas also went 2-for-3 with a walk as well.
In the seventh, the Royals were gifted two runs on a pair of errors. Trevor Plouffe had a line drive go off of his glove, which was then air mailed into the Royals dugout by left fielder Eddie Rosario, plating Eric Hosmer. Jonny Gomes then scored on a Mike Moustakas double to extend the lead to 5-1.
Danny Duffy pitched a clean eighth inning, striking out a pair.
The ninth became interesting, as Kelvin Herrera came in to close out the game in a non-save situation. Herrera gave up a pair of singles, recording only one out on an Eddie Rosario strikeout. Herrera then walked Torii Hunter to load the bases, and Yost promptly removed him for closer Wade Davis.
While dealing with an amorphous strike zone, Wade Davis managed a strikeout of pinch hitter Kennys Vargas on a pitch that was closer to being a ball than a ball that was called previously in the at-bat. Vargas wasn't happy. Molitor wasn't happy. And most people who watched today's game wondered what was going on with the strike zone today.Eduardo Escobar came up and struck out, sealing Minnesota's season as a worthy effort and a remarkable run ultimately not destined for postseason prosperity.
Kansas City is 94-67, currently a half-game up on the Blue Jays for home field which, again, is really not a big deal. Tomorrow, they close out their season with Johnny Cueto (10-13, 3.48 ERA) on the hill
squaring off against Phil Hughes (11-9, 4.40).
UPDATE: Mike Berardino reports that Ricky Nolasco will star Sunday for the Twins:
Ricky Nolasco to start Sunday for the Twins— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) October 3, 2015
And now, a dirge for the Twins: