The Kansas City Royals had previously lost seven—yes, seven, 7—consecutive games against the Minnesota Twins, and last week’s sweep at their hands pushed the stumbling Twins back over .500. But the Royals turned on the power tonight, smacking six extra base hits (including two home runs) to defeat the Twins 5-4.
On the mound at home, Royals starter Zack Greinke has been excellent. And Greinke was mostly excellent in tonight’s contest. Greinke walked zero and struck out three, and only really ran into trouble in the second inning—but that trouble was assisted by poor third base defense by Nate Eaton. With one out, Jake Cave singled to third, which Eaton was unable to secure. Then, Carlos Correa hit a ground ball to Eaton’s left. The ball just kept going under Eaton’s glove on a play that was definitely within his reach. The result was three runs, all earned, for Greinke.
Greinke’s fourth run was also earned and yet also not completely his fault. In the sixth inning, Greinke gave up a leadoff double to Gio Urshela and then struck out Gary Sanchez. Mike Matheny then played matchups against the lefty Cave, but Amir Garrett immediately gave up a double to cough up the lead and tie the game at four.
Four, yes, four! It sounds like a lot of runs because the Royals haven’t done much scoring lately. But they scored a pair in the third off two extra base hits by Edward Olivares and MJ Melendez, who smacked his 16th home run of the season to right-center field.
The Royals scored the go-ahead run off an infield single by speedster Bobby Witt Jr. Preceding said single was another home run...from Hunter Dozier. Record’s indicate that this was Dozier’s first home run since the Industrial Revolution.
The Royals grabbed the lead for good in the seventh inning off, count ‘em, one, two, three consecutive doubles by Melendez, Witt, and Salvador Perez. Vinnie Pasquantino walked to place the cherry on top of the four-consecutive baserunner sundae, but Michael A. Taylor flied out to end the threat.
Dylan Coleman, Jose Cuas, and Scott Barlow combined to pitch three innings of stress-free relieve, giving up only one combined baserunner among them. And, just like that, the Royals had won!
The Twins are 73-75, and it sure looks like their playoff hopes are cooked. The Royals are 59-89, and while their playoff hopes have been cooked since the beginning of May, they are still in desperate pursuit to avoid 100 losses, a feat that is indeed doable. Stay tuned!