Pablo López dominated as the Minnesota Twins cruised to a 4-0 win to complete their sweep over the Royals this evening.
López set the tone immediately, fooling Maikel Garcia into taking strike three before striking out Bobby Witt Jr. on three pitches. Alec Marsh looked to do the same in the bottom of the inning and it started well as he struck out Carlos Correa on three pitches, getting chases with each one. Unfortunately, he then served up an absolute pie of a changeup to Edouard Julien, who crushed it out to right for a solo shot.
With López on a mission, this game was effectively over after that homer. Here is what Kansas City managed to accomplish offensively against López:
- MJ Melendez doubled with two outs in the first. Salvador Perez then hit a soft lineout on a pitch way in on his hands.
- Drew Waters singled with two outs in the second. He was promptly picked off by López.
- Garcia singled with two outs in the third. Witt then struck out on a fastball at his shoulders.
- Kyle Isbel doubled with two outs in the eighth. Matt Duffy followed with a liner to right but was robbed on a diving play by Max Kepler.
After the Garcia single, López retired fifteen straight Royals and at one point punched out six consecutive batters. It was admittedly a big strike zone (shout out to Phil Cuzzi) but the Royals didn’t seem to have a prayer against López tonight. It doesn’t help that their only baserunners were coming with two outs. They didn’t even hit balls hard, registering only four batted balls above 95 mph exit velo and just one in triple digits. Twins batters cracked the 100 mph threshold seven times.
Alec Marsh’s final line isn’t particularly pretty, but he made improvements relative to his first start. He used a lot more of his curveball and less of his changeups and managed to throw more strikes. He also garnered 15 whiffs after registering only eight in his debut. There’s still a lot to be desired from an efficiency standpoint as he needed 91 pitches to complete five innings. His last out did not require a pitch as he avenged Waters by picking off Julien at first base.
Beyond Marsh, Amir Garrett was effectively wild, Taylor Clarke served up a tater to Ryan Jeffers, and the Dylan Coleman experience came in the eighth for the first time since April 10. Coleman walked Byron Buxton on strike two, punched out Alex Kirilloff and Kepler, than gave up a double to Donovan Solano that scored Buxton. He sat around 96 with his fastball, which is up from what he showed in April but still down from the 97.5 he averaged last year.
The loss drops the Royals to 25-62. This is the ninth time this season they have been swept. They were swept eight times in the entire 2022 season. Kansas City has played Minnesota ten times this season and has won once. No rest for the weary as the team will head to Cleveland for a four game set that begins tomorrow.
Alec Marsh: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 1 HR
Pablo López: CG, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 K, 0 HR
Kyle Isbel: 1-3, 2B
Ryan Jeffers: 2-3, HR, 2 R, RBI