Dillon Gee gave up three home runs and lasted just four innings as the Royals dropped the series finale to the Twins 7-5. The Royals battled back to take the lead, but Miguel Sano's blast off Gee in the fifth would knock him out of the game and give the Twins the lead for good. The Royals drop to 24-22, but have still won eight of their last twelve and four series in a row.
Gee was rough right from the get-go, giving up back-to-back solo home runs to Eduardo Nunez and Brian Dozier to start the game. Things did not get much better in the second. Eduardo Escobar led off the inning with shallow fly ball to right that should have been easily playable, but it fell between Omar Infante and Paulo Orlando, with Infante being charged with the error. Dillon Gee then compounded things by throwing away a pickoff attempt, allowing Escobar to advance all the way to third. Danny Santana would single him home to make it 3-0 Twins.
The Royals got those runs back and more off starter Tyler Duffey in the fourth when the Twins showed exactly why they have the worst record in the league. Whit Merrifield opened the inning with a single before Lorenzo Cain worked a walk. Eric Hosmer, who has been slumping lately, drove a double over the head of left fielder Robbie Grossman for a two-run double, his ninth of the year. Hosmer advanced to third on a balk when Duffey nonchalantly dropped the ball while on the rubber. Salvador Perez continued his torrid series with a double over the head of right fielder Miguel Sano to tie the game. Omar Infante put the cherry on top of the inning when he drove a ball into the left-center gap for an RBI triple to put the Royals on top 4-3. Infante would score on the next pitch when Tyler Duffey bounced a pitch that got away from catcher Kurt Suzuki to make it a five-run inning.
Omar Infante with the go ahead RBI triple.... To left center https://t.co/Jt7XKFXmwH— Jim McClintock (@pimpino) May 25, 2016
Gee wasn't particularly sharp all day, although he did collect six strikeouts on the afternoon. In the bottom of the fourth he gave up another run when he walked Danny Santana with two outs, then gave up an RBI double to Eduardo Nunez. Gee came out for the fifth, but quickly showed why that was a bad idea. After Joe Mauer led off with a single, Miguel Sano blasted a pitch into the second level for a two-run home run, the third shot given up Gee on the day. Gee gave up ten hits and six runs (five earned) in four innings of work, leaving the game trailing 6-5.
Royals reliever Peter Moylan retired the first two hitters of the seventh, but hit Miguel Sano and walked Robbie Grossman to set up an RBI single by Byung-Ho Park to make it 7-5 Twins. The bullpen overall did a fine job considering Gee's short outing, with Moylan, Scott Alexander, and Chien Ming Wang combining to give up just one run over four innings of work.
The Royals threatened in the ninth off new Twins closer Kevin Jepsen when pinch-hitter Jarrod Dyson doubled to center. Alcides Escobar hit a ground ball up the middle that second baseman Brian Dozier muffed, but recovered in time to get Escobar while Dyson advanced to third. Whit Merrifield, who had two hits on the day, could not come up with a third, and struck out to end the game.
The Royals drop the final game of the series, giving the Twins just their twelfth win of the year. It was the starting pitching that once again let them down, although in fairness, Dillon Gee was not expected to be in the starting rotation at this point in the year. Hopefully Mike Minor will be back soon to force Gee back to the bullpen, but in the meantime, it was good to see the offense battle back and make this a game despite Gee's rough start. The Royals are playing well again, which should make this weekend's series against the White Sox a very interesting one.