After winning a pitchers duel in Game 1 versus the Tampa Bay Rays, the Royals couldn’t get much going against right-hander Tyler Glasnow and fell 2-1 in extra innings on Wednesday night.
Looking to piggyback off an excellent start from Brad Keller, Kansas City handed the ball to 33-year-old Mike Minor to keep the trend going. In the first couple of innings, Minor appeared to be giving the Royals exactly what they were hoping for. The left-hander struck out six of the first nine hitters in the Tampa Bay lineup. However, in the other dugout was Glasnow, who was hoping to bounce back from a lackluster start against Toronto. Though Glasnow wasn’t racking up the strikeout numbers, he began the game with four perfect innings.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Rays finally opened the scoring on a two-out, RBI-single from Mike Zunino. Fortunately for the Royals, Minor proceeded to strike out old friend Brett Phillips to limit the damage to only one run. The problem, however, was that Glasnow looked unhittable. It wasn’t until the top of the fifth that the Royals got their first baserunner on a hard single to the opposite field by Kelvin Gutiérrez. Later in the inning, Adalberto Mondesi poked a single to center to put a runner in scoring position, but Kansas City failed to cash in.
Though his offense didn’t give him any run support, Minor managed to work five complete innings — striking out nine and allowing just one run on two hits. Greg Holland came on in the bottom of the sixth and tossed a scoreless frame.
After moving a runner to second base in the fifth, Kansas City went back to flailing at Glasnow’s curveballs and sliders without any success. The Royals’ best chance of scoring off the Rays’ starter came in the top of the eighth with two outs. Following a two-strike single by Whit Merrifield, Carlos Santana came to the plate with a chance to give Kansas City the lead. However, Glasnow struck him out on a 96 mph fastball for his 11th of the game.
In the top of the ninth, the Royals finally broke through on offense. Andrew Benintendi, who had been robbed three times in two games on excellent plays by a center fielder, smacked an opposite field home run to tie the game up at one.
In the home half, Kansas City gave the ball to flame-throwing Jake Brentz to send the game into extra innings. The rookie walked two with one out, but escaped by striking out Phillips and getting a ground out.
In extras, the Royals attempted to use small ball to obtain the lead. Mondesi led off the frame with a perfectly executed sac-bunt, but Jarrod Dyson and Ryan O’Hearn flew out. In the bottom of the 10th, Manuel Margot dribbled a walk-off single through the right side to give the Rays a 2-1 win.
The Royals, 23-24, will try and claim a series win tomorrow afternoon against left-hander Shane McClanahan. Kansas City will counter with Brady Singer. First pitch is slated for 2:10 p.m. CT.