The Twins fell to 1-4 against the Kansas City Royals after the two teams split a doubleheader at Target Field on Saturday, including a Game 2 loss in which pitcher Jose Berrios struggled again.
Although he struck out seven batters, he also walked four and tossed 84 pitches in five innings. The walks killed him because the Royals’ Whit Merrifield took advantage of the moment and hit a three-run home run in a 4-2 win. Berrios allowed the four runs. He is now 1-3 on the season with an earned run average of 5.92.
All of this is pretty disappointing because Berrios has gone from a clear No. 1 starter to someone who belongs at the back end of the rotation. As someone said on social media, he needs to stop nibbling like former Twins pitcher, Kyle Gibson, and go after hitters. He has the fastball and curve ball to do just that, but so far hasn’t put it together to win.
The Twins lost Game 2 by a score of 4-2, but won Game 1 by the same score: 4-2. Jake Odorizzi gave the Twins only four innings, but he showed much better command with six strikeouts and no walks. Reliever Tyler Duffey got the win with an inning of scoreless baseball — he has yet to allow an earned run this season — and closer Taylor Rogers, operating on a few days’ rest, was just fine to lock down his fifth save of the year.
Randy Dobnak gets the ball Sunday.
-The Twins won 14 of 19 meetings against the Royals last season. I guess the Royals aren’t interested in that again.
-Nelson Cruz has tied Eddie Rosario for the team lead in home runs with six. Cruz hit one double and a dinger in both games, including a massive shot off the facing of the third deck at Target Field.
-The Twins had only two hits in the Game 2 loss. Royals starter, Danny Duffy, has had some success against the Twins. He struck out eight over five innings.
-It was encouraging to see Luis Arraez get a couple of hits in the first game. Now, can Max Kepler get it going again? His batting average has fallen to .214 from .270. Jorge Polanco, meanwhile, has been Mr. Consistent. He’s hitting .303.