On the day that the twin cities celebrated the great Joe Mauer’s career by retiring his number, the Royals and Twins kicked off game two of their three game set. After jumping out to early lead in this one, Kansas City couldn’t hold off the surging division leaders, falling in a close one, 5-4.
Facing former Royal farmhand Jake Odorizzi, who came in with 1.92 ERA, things didn’t look positive for the offense on paper. However, just four hitters into the game, Jorge Soler mashed one into the second deck with a runner on. Cranking it at 462 feet from home plate at 114 mph, Kansas City took a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first.
On the pitching side, Glenn Sparkman was crusing through the first three innings. Sitting down eight of the first nine hitters, the righty settled in nicely to give the Royals some much needed momentum.
In the bottom of the fourth, the leagues home run leading bunch tagged Sparkman for a run. Max Kepler launched his 17th home run into the right field corner.
Thankfully for the Royals, the bats came through again in top half. Leading off the inning with a solo shot off that bat of Whit Merrifield and followed up with a sacrifice fly from Lucas Duda, Kansas City managed to extend their advantage to three at 4-1.
But back came the Twins and the power filled lineup. Immediately cutting the lead to one on a two-run blast from Marwin Gonzalez, Minnesota roared back to chase Sparkman. Eventually overtaking the lead on a RBI-double by C.J Cron, the Royals found themselves in a hole for the first time tonight.
Having the chances late but failing to capitalize, Kansas City couldn’t cash in to retake the lead it lost. With Jorge Soler at the plate with two runners on and two outs, Twins closer Taylor Rogers got him to fly out to center to end the game.
Falling to 22-48 on the season, the Royals will look to salvage a game tomorrow afternoon. Jake Junis will toe the slab for Kansas City while Minnesota will go with Martin Perez. First pitch is set for 1:10 CT.