Coming off three consecutive victories, the Royals entered Sunday with a chance to sweep the division-leading Minnesota Twins. Fueled by a gutsy start from Brady Singer, Kansas City defeated the Twins, 4-2.
In the top of the first, Singer was helped out by seven-time Gold Glove winner Alex Gordon. On a sinking line drive off the bat of Nelson Cruz, Gordon dove head first and took away extra bases from the 40-year-old slugger.
Similar to Saturday night, Kansas City didn’t waste time jumping on a Twins starter. Hunter Dozier, who was reinstated from the injured list this morning, pounded a 1-1 fastball back up the middle to plate two runs.
Back on the mound, Singer continued to cruise by sitting down the first seven hitters. But a dangerous play nearly cost him an early exit. With one out in the top of the third, Byron Buxton smacked a 101-mph ground ball back toward the mound and Singer tried to snag it with his bare hand. The ball ricocheted to Adalberto Mondesi at shortstop but Buxton reached on an infield single. Though Singer stayed in the game, his command wasn’t as sharp. The first ball he threw after the ricochet was wild to first base on a pick-off attempt. The error allowed Buxton to move to third. Max Kepler doubled him home one batter later and the Twins tied the game on an RBI-groundout.
Kansas City battled back quickly in the bottom half of the inning. Following a lead-off single from Whit Merrifield, the Royals put on a hit and run with Jorge Soler at that plate. Soler, who mashed two home runs over 430 feet last night, didn’t need much to get the ball through the infield. His single was clocked at a whopping 59-mph. Salvador Perez drove home Merrifield on a sacrifice fly to give the Royals a 3-2 lead.
Singer ran into serious trouble in the top of the fifth with his pitch count rising. With two outs and two on, Mike Matheny elected to keep Singer in the game with Greg Holland warming-up in the bullpen. The decision paid off as Singer got Eddie Rosario to fly out to end the inning. Singer’s final line was five innings, five hits, two earned runs and four strikeouts.
After Holland worked a clean frame in the top of the sixth, Maikel Franco put a charge into one and chased José Berríos from the game. The estimated distance on the solo shot was 414 feet.
Flame-throwing Josh Staumont returned to the mound in the seventh after leaving Friday’s game with back tightness. The right-hander recorded three strikeouts in two scoreless innings. His ERA is down to 1.17 in 7 2⁄3 innings with 14 strikeouts.
Josh Staumont is 'must watch' pitching. pic.twitter.com/Ldx2GuKqDW— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 9, 2020
Josh Staumont, 83mph Curveball pretzeling Polanco. pic.twitter.com/T7uiwmloct— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 9, 2020
Scott Barlow slammed the door in the ninth, capping off four scoreless innings from the bullpen.
Sunday’s win makes it four-straight for Kansas City and it pushes the overall record to 7-10. After the first off-day of the season on Monday, the Royals will head to Cincinnati for a two-game set with the Reds. Kris Bubic will get the ball in Game 1 on Tuesday. First pitch is slated for 5:40 p.m. CDT.