Danny Duffy pitched an excellent game through seven innings. Unfortunately he was asked to pitch eight innings and by the time he was done it was only a very good game. The hitters on both teams were swinging very early in the count which allowed both pitchers to be very efficient. In Duffy’s eight innings he only threw 96 pitches. He walked two and only allowed six hits. But half of those hits left the field of play in fair territory. Miguel Sanó, Jake Cave, and C.J. Cron all belted solo shots. Those were the only runs Duffy allowed.
As good as Duffy was, José Berríos was right there with him. Berríos was forced to leave the game after two batters in the seventh with a blister on his pitching hand but before that he had allowed no runs. Unfortunately for him, he was relieved by Taylor Rogers. Rogers has been very good this year but today was not his day. He gave up a pair of hits and hit a batter while completing the seventh inning. That allowed both of his inherited runners to score plus one more. Humberto Arteaga got his first big league hit to lead off the inning. Alex Gordon came up huge with an RBI double with two outs and Hunter Dozier got his first hit since returning from the Injured List in order to drive in Cam Gallagher and Gordon.
Ian Kennedy pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with hard hit outs to each of his outfielders. Trevor May walked Arteaga which allowed the Royals to put Terrance Gore on the basepaths but they couldn’t bring him home. Wily Peralta came on to pitch the tenth inning and immediately allowed the first two runners to reach. He got Jorge Polanco to fly out but Cron came through with an RBI single just underneath a diving Hunter Dozier’s glove to give the Twins their lead back. Eddie Rosario added insult to injury by delivering an RBI single to right as an “Eddie” chant that was audible even on TV went up around the stadium.
The Royals should probably have had the first lead of the game. Whit Merrifield hit José Berríos’ first pitch for a double and Nicky Lopez singled him over to third. But Alex Gordon hit a groundball and Merrifield couldn’t decide whether to try to score or retreat to third. This is pretty typical of Whit’s issues on the basepaths, this year. If he had tried to score he might have made it. He definitely would have been safe if he had gone back to third. But being unwilling to make a choice meant that the Twins got a double play as they tagged out Gordon before getting Whit in a rundown. Lopez decided to go to third and just barely beat out a throw that would have made it a triple play.
How many of you out there are like me and watch the games using mlb.tv? How many razor commercials (for two different companies) do I need to see in a three hour period? Seriously. Get some new advertisers, MLB.
The Royals will try to split the four-game series tomorrow. A red-hot Homer Bailey will go to the mound for the Royals against Michael Pineda who has been on a pretty decent run, himself, in his last couple of starts.