The Royals were sloppy on defense and were once again hurt badly by Twins slugger Miguel Sano in a 10-5 loss to the Twins in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday night. The Royals mashed two more home runs and collected ten hits, but committed three errors and generally looked poor on defense all night in giving up ten runs to the Twins.
Felix Jorge, who is not the son of former Royals Felix Jose and Jorge de la Rosa, made his Major League debut for the Twins after being promoted from AA. He struggled in every inning, but seemed to avoid catastrophe. The Royals struck in the first when Jorge Bonifacio hit a gapper for a double, and came home when Eric Hosmer crushed a pitch down the left-field line for his eleventh home run to make it 2-0.
Jason Hammel cruised through the first four innings, but as he has done often this year, he had the next two innings blow up in his face. In fairness, his defense did not do him any favors, with a circus of misplays behind him. Jason Castro hit a line drive to right that Jorge Bonifacio flubbed, leading to a double and a run scored in the fifth. A Joe Mauer walk brought up Miguel Sano. Sano has absolutely destroyed the Royals this year, and he already had a home run in Game One of today’s doubleheader. He crushed a three-run home run off Hammel, his fifth home run against the Royals this year with 23 RBI in 11 games. He is hitting an insane .395/.469/.837 against the Royals this year. For heaven’s sake, just walk the man.
In the fifth, things just got worse. With one on and one out, Jorge Polanco hit a routine grounder to Alcides Escobar, who committed his seventh error of the year. Castro again doubled, scoring Rosario, and Jorge Bonifacio nonchalantly booted the ball in the corner, allowing Castro to advance to third. After Joe Mauer drove him home, it was 7-2 Twins.
The Royals would get some of those runs back immediately. Lorenzo Cain led off the six against Jorge with a single, driving the rookie out of the game. After Buddy Boshers came in, Jorge Soler drove Cain home with a two-run home run, his second of the year and his first since returning to the Royals lineup after his demotion. It gives the Royals 98 home runs on the year, the most they have ever hit by the All-Star break, and more home runs than they hit the entire 2014 season.
Brandon Moss continued his hot day with a double in the seventh, his fifth hit of the day.
Brandon Moss has five hits today. He had seven in June.— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) July 2, 2017
Alcides Escobar drove him home with a double, and is now hitting .386/.386/.536 over his last 20 games.
Kelvin Herrera worked for the first time in over a week, and gave up three hits in the ninth to allow a run. An error by Whit Merrifield allowed another run in an inning filled with aggressive baserunning by the Twins. The Royals could not overcome the five run deficit, and dropped the second half of the twin-bill with a 10-5 loss.
The offense really came alive on Saturday, but the defense looked like it could use the All-Star break. The Royals still find themselves 40-40, just one game back of the Twins, three games back of the first place Indians, and just 1.5 games back of a Wild Card spot. With Travis Wood going tomorrow, the offense may have to keep it rolling, and the defense will have to step up its game to take this four-game series from the Twins.