Bobby Witt started the game by banging a double off of the right field wall and scoring on a Salvador Perez sac fly. The good feelings then lasted all the way until Jordan Lyles threw his first pitch of the game and Max Kepler took it deep. This was not your typical 2023 Royals game however, as the Royals nearly (should have?) pulled it out.
The Twins scored 1 in the first, 2 in the second, and 4 in the fourth before Lyles was pulled in favor of Josh Taylor who also gave up a home run to the first batter he faced, Jose Miranda. At that point it was 8-2 and the Twins seemed destined to coast the rest of the way to a victory. I mean, it is hard to assume it is the Royals day when this happens:
That’s right, our old friend Michael A. Taylor bunted a double to score Joey Gallo. The Royals bullpen, after the homer to Miranda, was nearly perfect though, and the bats just kept chipping away.
Salvador Perez hit a long fly ball over the right center fence in the 6th, and Olivares followed that with a triple. Then Pratto hit his third single of the game to bring in Olivares and make it 8-4.
In the 7th Bobby Witt hit into a fielder’s choice and beat out the double play to score Dozier who walked to open the inning. Then Salvy singled in Bobby after he stole a bag and moved to third on a wild pitch. The score moved to 8-6.
In the 8th the Royals threatened again. Olivares doubled for his third extra base hit of the day, and Dozier followed that with his second walk. Michael Massey worked a full count and Thielbar threw him ball four, which should have brought up Bobby with the bases loaded, but unfortunately that is not what happened:
Matt Quatraro did not take kindly to the umpire’s strike zone, and was ejected shortly thereafter. The Royals were down to their last three outs.
In the 9th, the Royals had two outs quickly before Salvy and Melendez both singled. Olivares, with two doubles and a triple already on the day, was probably exactly who the Royals wanted coming up next. He never got a chance to swing as Jorge Lopez drilled Olivares in the shoulder with a 98 mph fastball to load the bases. Pratto, after being recalled and collecting three hits today, was next up with a chance to get the Royals the first lead since inning one. He went to a 3-0 count followed by called strike, foul ball, and a whiff to end the game.
The offense genuinely did some things well today, except Vinnie Pasquantino, which is the opposite of everything the team has done so far this season. The hold Jordan Lyles dug was just too big to get all the way out of. There are two more games on this ten game road trip, that so far has only netted to wins. Keller faces Gray in another day game tomorrow.