During the Twins’ six-game winning streak, the bullpen was the talk of baseball, pitching scoreless frame after scoreless frame and racking up six saves.
That was not the case on Saturday. Despite three home runs from Nelson Cruz, Max Kepler and Byron Buxton, which also happened to be his third straight game with a long ball, it wasn’t enough to offset a bullpen that served up seven earned runs en route to a 9-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals.
The Twins held a 4-2 lead until the bottom of the fourth inning. Lewis Thorpe spelled starter, Jake Odorizzi, and then served up three runs, followed by Cody Stashak, who allowed three more. Harvard man Sean Poppen also allowed a run on a wild pitch.
Jose Berrios gets the ball Sunday. Perhaps he can salvage the series with a win.
-The losing streak now stands at three games. It’s the Royals first series win over the Twins since September 2018.
-Odorizzi’s 2020 debut was less than spectacular. He tossed 71 pitches over three innings and allowed two runs, both earned, on four hits, including a home run.
-Buxton continues to bust his way out of an early slump. He went 2-for-4, including a home run, scored a run and drove in two runs. He’s now hitting .233. Marwin Gonzalez went 3-for-3 and is now hitting .350.
-Struggling Mitch Garver and Miguel Sano went hitless in nine at bats and struck out five times.
-Jorge Alcala had the best pitching line of the game: two innings of scoreless baseball with no walks and four strikeouts.