The Twins sent 12 men to the plate in the third inning against Royals starter Brady Singer, scoring seven times in an 8-4 Royals loss on Sunday that was not as close as the score indicated. The Twins raced out to an 8-0 lead, and the Royals only scored a pair of ninth inning runs to make the final score look less like a blowout. Singer exited in the third after recording just eight outs, allowing eight total runs on five hits, three walks, and a hit batter.
Singer got through a 1-2-3 first inning, but gave up a leadoff double to Byron Buxton in the second. After a walk to Trevor Larnach, Buxton advanced to third on a line out to right by Joey Gallo. Nick Gordon then executed a safety squeeze bunt to allow Buxton to score (the Royals at least covered all the bases on a bunt this time around!)
The Royals threatened to even the score the next inning when Matt Duffy laced a one-out double with the top of the order coming up. But Bobby Witt Jr. grounded to short, Vinnie Pasquantino walked, and Salvador Perez popped out to end the inning.
Singer walked Max Kepler in the third, but struck out Jorge Polanco for the second out in the third inning and looked like he would escape without incident. Instead, the bottom fell out. Carlos Correa walked, and Byron Buxton obliterated a pitch for a 453-foot three-run home run to make it 4-0.
1) Byron Buxton to the third deck— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) April 30, 2023
2) It went 453 feet
3) The Twins now apparently have a home run vest with "LAND OF 10,000 RAKES" written on the back?? pic.twitter.com/8o9a8CtO17
But that home run would not prove to be a rally-killer, the Twins had more damage to do in the inning. Larnach singled, and Singer hit Gallo on an 0-2 pitch. Nick Gordon and Willi Castro hit back-to-back RBI singles to make it 6-0, ending Singer’s day. Christian Vázquez singled both home off reliever Josh Staumont to make it 8-0, effectively ending the game in the third inning.
The Royals raised the league-leading ERA of Sonny Gray, but only because it was 0.62 going into today. The only run they scored came in the sixth when Vinnie Pasquantino doubled, and scored on an Edward Olivares single. Gray allowed just five hits and one walk while striking out seven in six innings to improve to 4-0.
The Royals did get 5 1⁄3 innings of shutout ball with nine strikeouts from their relievers - Staumont, Amir Garrett, Carlos Hernandez, and Josh Taylor - albeit in garbage time. The offense scored a second run in the seventh, courtesy of an error by Twins second baseman Jorge Polanco. Vinnie Pasquantino smacked a two-run single in the ninth off Twins reliever Josh Winder to make it 8-4, his third hit of the game. Jhoan Duran came in to get the final out of the game and earn the save.
The Royals have dropped their sixth series in a row, and finish their road trip 3-7. They have lost 13 of 16 and are 7-22 on the year. They’ll head home for a ten-game homestand beginning Tuesday against the Orioles.