The Royals and Twins played into the wee hours of Saturday morning after a three-hour rain delay that halted play in the fifth inning. Eric Hosmer’s single in the eleventh off Twins reliever J.T. Chargois mercifully scored Cheslor Cuthbert to end things in the eleventh to give the Royals their eleventh win in thirteen games.
The Royals jumped on the Twins early, scoring three in the second inning off Twins rookie starter Jose Berrios. Alcides Escobar singled home Salvador Perez after third baseman Trevor Plouffe deflected the shot into left field. Berrios then walked home two runs with the bases loaded, with Jarrod Dyson and Cheslor Cuthbert getting free passes.
Brian Dozier hit a solo home run in the third inning to put the Twins on the board, the seventh straight game he has homered against the Royals, breaking a record held by Ken Griffey Jr. for most consecutive games with a home run by a Royals opponent. The Royals got that run back in the bottom of the fourth when Jarrod Dyson singled home Alex Gordon, one of three times Gordon reached base.
With a three-run lead and a thunderstorm looming, the Royals were motivated to get the game through five innings with a lead to make the game “official.” However Edinson Volquez struggled in the fifth, allowing back-to-back doubles to open the inning. Jorge Polanco’s double would tie the game, with umpires suspending action in the fifth with a 4-4 tie as the rains came.
During the rain delay, things got a bit nuts.
Three hours later at 11:45 p.m., play resumed with Matt Strahm pitching his way out of a jam to preserve the tie. Six Royals relievers would combine for 6 2/3 innings pitched, allowing just one hit. The delays would continue however, when the lights went out temporarily in the sixth inning.
Salvador Perez nearly gave the Royals the lead in the eighth, missing a home run by a few feet, settling instead for a leadoff double. Alex Gordon was retired, but pinch-runner Billy Burns advanced to third on a ground out. However Raul Mondesi struck out to end the threat, and soon the game would go into extra innings, extending an already long night.
Cheslor Cuthbert opened the eleventh with a single off rookie J.T. Chargois. After a Lorenzo Cain walk, Eric Hosmer inexplicably tried to bunt, even squaring around to bunt with two strikes. Fortunately, sanity prevailed, and Hosmer swung away, lacing a single to right field to score Cuthbert and win the game.
It was a nutty game the Royals almost blew, but like they have done the last two weeks, they pulled it out and are just 5.5 games back of the Wild Card.