The Reflex of any Royals fan in the bottom of the ninth was probably to expect this game to end in a walk-off loss. Closer Scott Barlow came on, got an out, but allowed the next two runners to reach before facing off against Byron Buxton. Fortunately, he didn’t Come Undone and Buxton struck out looking and Barlow successfully escaped the game by inducing a ground out from Trevor Larnach.
Before that, though, The Wild Boys were in evidence today. Brad Keller continued his struggles with command he walked five while striking out only four in 5.1 innings of one-run ball. To add insult to injury, that one run scored on his wild pitch.
The Twins scored their only other run with a Buxton home run off of Taylor Clarke in the bottom of the seventh.
The Royals scored their first run in the top of the fifth thanks to a lead-off double from the lava-hot Edward Olivares. With one out, Nicky Lopez singled him home. That would be it for the Royals’ scoring until the eighth inning. Bobby Witt Jr. took a lead-off walk and stole second. He advanced to third on a Vinnie Pasquantino groundball before MJ Melendez flew out to shallow center. It looked like the Royals would squander the gift-wrapped opportunity but Salvador Perez, living in his Ordinary World, singled him home on a pitch a foot above the strike zone.
In the top of the ninth with the game still tied thanks to the (Royals) Union of the Snake, the Twins called upon closer Jhoan Duran. Unfortunately for Minnesota, today was a day for him to Come Undone. Duran managed only 12 strikes among his 25 pitches. He walked Olivares, Olivares stole second, then Michael Massey also walked. With runners at first and second and no one out and the pitcher struggling with his command, Nicky Lopez did what he is Notorious for and successfully bunted a 3-1 pitch to advance the runners.
Duran threw a wild pitch to Witt, allowing Olivares to score the go-ahead run before striking Witt out. Pasquantino received an intentional walk - Duran’s third of the inning - before MJ Melendez grounded out to take the Pressure Off. From there the Royals and Barlow had A View To a Kill and won their seventh game of the year just before April comes to a close tomorrow.
- The teams combined for only two hits in 26 at-bats with runners in scoring position, both belonging to the Royals and leading to their first two runs. The Twins seemed completely disinterested in winning this one for the most part and the Royals eventually accepted the win graciously.
- Nick Pratto continues his hot hitting since his most recent promotion. He added two more hits and a walk today and, even better, struck out only once this time.
- Edward Olivares has an eight-game hitting streak and his last five hits have all gone for extra bases after hitting a pair of doubles and taking a walk in today’s contest.
- Pasquantino went hitless for the second straight game but walked twice, meaning he’s reached base in all but three starts so far this year. He now has 14 walks compared to only 16 strikeouts.
The Royals will have a chance to tie the series up after just one more Sunrise. Save a Prayer for Brady Singer, who looked much better in his most recent outing. The Twins will counter with tough left-hander Sonny Gray. After that, we will have A New Moon on Monday and maybe the Royals will be able to put this awful month behind them.