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Royals split twin-billing with Twins: 6-4; 4-8

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There were a LOT of fireworks.

Kansas City Royals v Minnesota Twins - Game One
Salvy circles the bases after one of his three home runs on the day.
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Today was a day for lots of home runs. The Royals combined for 7 total while the Twins added 3 of their own. In the first game Brandon Moss contributed identical twin solo home runs, the first of which was conjoined twins with Jorge Bonifacio. Bonifacio’s home run, of course, was also the twin to the first one of the day by Salvador Perez - both were scored the same number of runs as there are newborns after one gives birth to twins and both scored Eric Hosmer in addition to the batter. Speaking of Hosmer, he and Alex Gordon were both difficult outs the entire first game as they combined to go 3-6 with 3 walks. Don’t look now, but Alex Gordon has a 4-game hitting streak.

Jake Junis made his first big league start after replacing Al Alburquerque on the roster. He pitched moderately well, though he didn’t qualify for the win. Don’t worry Jake; pitcher wins are an out-dated statistic and no match for a good defense at your back. Junis allowed 5 hits and 3 walks but also struck out 4, flashing a very good looking slider in doing so. He also allowed 2 earned runs, the first of his major league career.

Twins starter Phil Hughes also failed to escape the fifth inning, though he never even started it. The Twins used waiver-wire pickup Adam Wilk to rescue their bullpen as he pitched 3.2 innings in relief allowing only the second of Moss’ home runs.

Peter Moylan continued to struggle out of the bullpen pitching one-third of an inning while allowing yet another run. Strahm also allowed a run while trying to clean up the mess. Kelvin Herrera bounced back from Friday’s blown save to work around a single and a walk and struck out a pair to collect his ninth save.

Other notes from the first game:

  • Lorenzo Cain and Whit Merrifield both got picked off, but Lorenzo Cain stole second anyway and still hasn’t been caught stealing, yet, this season.
  • Brandon Moss is the first Royal to have two home runs in a single game, this year. He had a 3-hit game and his batting average is back above the Mendoza line.
  • Mike Minor pitched in his third straight game, though not his third straight day after the rain-out yesterday.
  • Both teams attempted hit-and-runs; both resulted in twin-killings, instead. Alex Gordon was caught stealing when Alcides Escobar struck out and Kennys Vargas lined out to Escobar who proceeded to throw out the helpless Max Kepler.

In the second game Salvador Perez continued both his dominance of the Twins and giving me excuses to use the word twin. He hit a twin to his Game 1 home run, a 2-run shot that also scored Eric Hosmer into the left-field bleachers to give the Royals the lead before the Twins ever got to bat.

Robbie Grossman decided he liked how that looked so he followed Ian Kennedy’s walk of Brian Dozier with a twin to Salvy’s twin-scoring home run. The Twins liked that so much they did it again. Miguel Sano walked and Max Kepler twinned up his own twin-scoring home run. All that before Kennedy recorded his first out.

The trouble for Kennedy wasn’t over. In the second inning he allowed a twin-bagger to Brian Dozier that allowed Twins number nine hitter Ehire Adrienza to score from first after he walked. If you’re keeping score at home Ian Kennedy walked 3 of the first 9 batters he faced and all 3 scored.

Salvador Perez added a third home run to lead off the fourth inning, to cut the lead back down to two.

Chris Young, sensing my struggle to keep up the gimmick with Salvy’s latest bomb, allowed it’s twin to Chris Giminez. Later in the inning Miguel Sano drove in yet another run, giving him approximately 70 bazillion RBIs against the Royals this season.

Long after almost everyone had quit watching the Twins scored another run in the bottom of the seventh inning when Kennys Vargas singled to right driving home Max Kepler. Eric Hosmer followed up in the bottom half with a garbage time home run.

The Royal offense was curiously inept in the second game against the not-good Adalberto Mejia, they had the 3 home runs but also 5 out of a possible 9 leadoff hitters reached. The ineptitude comes in in that only one of those leadoff batters scored - Perez on his solo shot. Ian Kennedy was a disaster only pitching 2 innings and allowing the 4 runs - he wasn’t even allowed to start the third inning - and it’s probably fair to wonder if they rushed him back a bit based on how poorly Chris Young and Jason Hammel have been pitching.

So the Royals have lost yet another series to an AL Central opponent; losing this many games in the division makes it hard to envision a come back for the good guys. They remain in last place in the division. The Royals will race to New York to try and get some sleep - probably in those twin sets of twin-beds, if old baseball movies are to be believed - before starting a 4-game series against the Yankees. First up on Monday night is a rematch from last week of Jason Vargas against Yankee fire-baller Michael Pineda.