The Twins appeared more than ready to run away from the Royals on Friday night, but the pesky club from Kansas City hung around and made things interesting right to the very end.
The Twins scored four runs in the first, the Royals came back to tie the game, then the Twins took another lead and extended it to 10-5. I was ready to declare it a convincing Twins win, but then the Royals homered and doubled and Twins manager Rocco Baldelli finally had to call on reliever Emilio Pagan to close out the game. And he did, giving the Twins a 10-7 win. Pagan picked up his seventh save.
The Twins scored their 10 runs on 15 hits; ex-Yankees Gio Urshela and Gary Sanchez had six of those hits. Jorge Polanco and Carlos Correa both homered, Max Kepler tripled and Nick Gordon hit a double late in the game.
Starter Bailey Ober looked good for two innings, then appeared to lose velocity on his fastball in a three-run third inning. He exited the game and Baldelli went deep on the bullpen, calling on seven relievers to get through the game. The pitching win went to Trevor Megill.
Chris Archer gets the ball Saturday.
-Oregon State man Trevor Larnach had an interesting night. He scored two runs and drove in a run, but was one of only two Twins to go hitless on Friday. How did he do that? He walked three times and hit a sacrifice fly.
-The Twins turned three double plays.
-Be thankful for a team that is 10 games over .500 because it could be so much worse, Twins fans. For example, imagine life with the 1982 Twins, a team that lost 102 games.
On May 29, 1982, the Twins turned a triple play against the New York Yankees but it hardly mattered because the club went into an unbelievable tailspin that month, losing 26 of 29 games. That’s right: they were 3-26 in May 1982.
After the 6-4 loss to the Yankees, Twins manager Billy Gardner was asked about the triple play by a reporter with the Minneapolis Tribune.
“Triple play?” Gardner asked, scratching his head. The second inning gem vanished from his mind after (Ken) Griffey’s hit, which left the Twins three short of their longest losing streak ever.
“We can’t get over the ninth inning,” Gardner said with a sigh.
Sources: MLB.com, Baseball-Reference.com, Newspapers.com