The Minnesota Twins are 0-4 in the young season after losing to Kansas City 4-3 Friday night. Both times the Twins took a lead, the Royals answered right back.
Kurt Suzuki doubled off of Yordano Ventura, scoring Eduardo Escobar, to put the team up 1-0 in the second inning. But the Royals got a two-out single from Salvador Perez, a double from Omar Infante and a two-run single from Reymond Fuentes, the No. 9 hitter, for a 2-1 lead.
Escobar’s RBI single to center made it 2-2 in the sixth, and Byung Ho Park hit his first home run of the season in the eighth. That wasn’t enough to seal the game, however.
With the late lead, Manager Paul Molitor elected to replace Miguel Sano with Eddie Rosario for defensive insurance. Rosario took over left field, moving Danny Santana from left to right.
With no outs in the eighth, Rosario dove for a Perez line drive with Alex Gordon on first. Perez tripled, scoring Gordon, tying the game.
“I don’t know if he could have” kept the ball in front of him, Molitor told the Star Tribune. “It’s one of those plays that [the ball] had a lot of carry. It was a tough angle for him to even cut back and cut the ball off. I think going for the catch was probably the right thing to do in that circumstance.”
Reliever Kevin Jepsen, who filled in for Glen Perkins as the team’s closer when Perkins got hurt last year and entered in the eighth against Kansas City, didn’t blame Rosario for the triple either.
“It would have been unbelievable if he would have caught it,” Jepsen told the Pioneer Press. “He’s a phenomenal outfielder. It’s one of those things. Everything is falling in right now.”
Sano’s spot came up in the ninth inning against Royals closer Wade Davis with the tying run on second. Rosario struck out to end the game.
“We went ahead and made the defensive switch there, which is always a little risky,” Molitor said of replacing Sano, who had three strikeouts and one walk in four plate appearances Friday night. “Taking Miguel out of the game … but with a lead and six outs to go in a big outfield, I thought it was the right thing to do.”[Star Tribune, Pioneer Press]