After a split in the doubleheader Saturday, the Royals looked to move to 5-1 over the Twins on Sunday. Despite an early lead off Minnesota starter Randy Dobnak, Kansas City was bitten by the long ball and fell to the Twins, 4-2.
Facing Dobnak and his 0.90 ERA in the top of the first, the Royals struck quickly to give Brady Singer some early cushion. Hunter Dozier, who came in homer-less, belted a solo shot onto the porch in right field. The ball traveled an estimated 359 feet.
In the next inning, Alex Gordon snapped his 0-15 skid and smashed another solo home run to right field. It was the first time Dobnak had given up multiple home runs in a start since college.
Though Singer worked around trouble in the second inning, a few mistakes cost him in the bottom of the third. After walking the No. 9 hitter Alex Avila to lead off the inning, Singer bounced a wild pitch and balked to put Avila at third with one out. Jorge Polanco drove him home on a RBI-groundout to cut the lead to 2-1.
Avila’s plate discipline would hurt the Royals, again, in the home half of the fifth. Following another lead-off walk to Avila, Max Kepler punished a fastball from Singer and placed it well over the wall in right field to give the Twins a 3-2 lead. Singer worked a career-high 5 2⁄3 on 100 pitches and allowed three runs on four hits.
Kansas City ran into bad luck in the top of the sixth. With runners at first and second and one out, Hunter Dozier poked a sinking line drive to left field. However, Eddie Rosario made a sliding catch and doubled up Merrifield at second, who was running on the pitch.
Minnesota tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh on a safety squeeze against Greg Holland to make 4-2. Trailing late, Kansas City couldn’t threaten in the final three innings and Sergio Romo earned the save in the ninth for the Twins.
The loss bumps the Royals’ record to 9-13 on the season. Kris Bubic will get the ball tomorrow against Matt Wisler for the series finale. First pitch is slated for 7:10 p.m. CDT on FSKC.