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Salvy goes homerless as Royals drop season finale 7-3

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Fin.

Minnesota Twins v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Salvador Perez went hitless in four at-bats, drawing a walk and ending the game on the on-deck circle, leaving him tied for the single-season club home run record at 48 as the Royals ended their 2021 season with a 7-3 loss to the Twins. The Royals finish the season at 74-88, their best season since 2017.

Jackson Kowar was named Royals Minor League Pitcher of the Year, but he’d probably like to leave his 2021 Major League season in the rearview mirror. The rookie struggled again, failing to retire the first seven hitters of the game and giving up five runs in the opening frame. He would settle down to throw three scoreless frames after that, striking out six in four innings, but he ends the season with a dismal ERA of 11.27.

The Royals battled back with three runs in the third. Nicky Lopez led off the inning with an infield single to put his average at .300. Mike Matheny lifted him for a pinch runner, making Lopez the first Royals shortstop ever to qualify for the batting title and end the season with an average of at least .300. After Salvador Perez was hit by a pitch, Carlos Santana (he’s heating up, folks!) drove home pinch runner Kyle Isbel to put the Royals on the board.

Adalberto Mondesi grounded into a fielder’s choice to put Salvy at third. Mondesi stole second, and when Twins catcher Ryan Jeffers threw the ball away, Salvy scored easily for the second run. Michael Taylor’s infield single plated a third run to make it 5-3 Twins.

Byron Buxton launched a 420-foot two-run home run in the fifth off reliever Joel Payamps to make it 7-3, and the Royals never really threatened after that. Relievers Dylan Coleman, Scott Barlow, and Josh Staumont combined to toss four scoreless innings with five strikeouts, to give Royals fans a glimpse of what next year’s bullpen may look like. Kyle Isbel struck out to end the game with Salvy on deck.

The season is over, and again, thank you to all the readers and fans who followed, read, commented, or lurked at Royals Review this season.