The Minnesota Twins’ struggles on the road continued as the team dropped a four-game series to division foe Kansas City, 3-1.
That also capped a season series the Twins dropped to the woeful Royals, 10-9.
Twins killer Salvador Perez hit his 25th home run of the season off Alan Busenitz in the sixth inning in Thursday’s game. The next batter, Jorge Bonifacio, followed up with another home run. The back-to-back home runs gave the Royals a 4-2 lead after being down 2-0 in the second inning.
The Royals added another run in the sixth, an RBI single by Adalberto Mondesi, to cap a four-run inning. The Twins got to within a run in the top half of the eighth but could do no more as the Royals added an insurance tally in the bottom half and held on to win 6-4.
On Friday, Jose Berrios struck out nine batters in six innings. He gave up a run in each of the first two innings and was still somewhat shaky in third before settling down and cruising through the next three innings.
Minnesota broke through offensively in the fifth, scoring three runs and taking a one-run lead. Each team added a run in the seventh and the Twins held a 4-3 lead heading into the ninth inning. Whit Merrifield tied the game with an RBI single and Perez walked off the Twins with a grand slam to give Kansas City an 8-4 win.
The Royals offense exploded for 10 runs on Saturday in the third game of the series. Alex Gordon and Alcides Escobar provided nearly all of the runs. Gordon went 3-for-5 with five RBIs. Escobar added three hits, three RBIs and came across to score twice. The Twins were in the game early on. In the second inning, Ehrie Adrianza singled home Max Kepler to tie the game. It was all Royals after that as they routed the Twins 10-3.
The two teams combined for five home runs in the series finale Sunday. Four of the five were hit by the Twins. Max Kepler hit a home run in the third inning, tying the game at two. Tyler Austin and Johnny Field went back-to-back in the fourth to give the Twins a 4-2 lead.
Finally, in the sixth with the score tied 5-5, Jorge Polanco led off with a home run to reclaim the lead. Two more runs came across in the ninth and the Twins avoided a sweep with a 9-6 win. The victory marked the first time since May 28 the Twins have won in Kansas City.
Here’s what saw from our vantage point
A Steady Series from Jake Cave and Robbie Grossman
Cave and Grossman may not jump out as the best offensive performers each night but in the series as a whole, the two pulled their weight.
Grossman went 6-for-15 while driving three runs. It was just another solid series for Grossman as he’s been productive, slashing .351/.465/.474 in his last 18 games. He’s also driven seven runs while scoring five.
As for Cave, he went 4-for-14 while driving in three runs and scoring three. Cave hasn’t been nearly as hot as Grossman at the plate — 25-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his last 69 plate appearances — but, like Grossman, he’s hitting for more power, which is evident by his .508 slugging percentage in his last 18 games.
Cave hit his 11th home run of the season on Thursday.
The two hit well in the series and overall have continued to provide the Twins with consistent offensive output.
Taylor Rogers appeared on Friday and Sunday and added to his scoreless inning streak. Since appearing on July 30, Rogers has not allowed a run in 22 innings. In that span he has struck out 26 batters and walked two. He has also held opposing batters to a .127 batting average.
Tyler Austin, who came to Minnesota via the Lance Lynn trade, has played first base sparingly for the Twins. That didn’t seem to hinder his play-making ability as Austin made two very nice plays — one a diving grab to and flip to the pitcher covering and a grab near while tumbling over the railing, in the series finale along with his solo home run.
- The Twins travel to Detroit to take on the Tigers. The team will use an “opener” in the first game as Gabriel Moya gets the start. Here are the full probable pitching matchups:
- Gabriel Moya (3-1, 4.88 ERA) vs Jordon Zimmerman (7-7, 4.17 ERA) – Monday
- Jake Odorizzi (6-10, 4.41 ERA) vs Daniel Norris (0-4, 6.14 ERA) – Tuesday
- TBD vs Spencer Turnbull (0-0, 0.00 ERA) – Wednesday