For the second-straight night, the Royals were held to one run and five hits in a 6-1 loss to the Twins. Kansas City had its chances against Twins’ starter Brad Radke, putting runners on base in the each of the first three innings. Reggie Sanders reached with a two-out single in the first, Doug Mientkiewicz led off the second with a double and Kerry Robinson singled with one out in the third. All three were stranded. The Royals managed just two more hits the rest of the game.
Radke (3-3) settled in and pitched seven innings. The run he allowed was a solo home run from Matt Stairs in the seventh. It was his first homer of the season. But by that time, the damage was already done for Kansas City—Stairs’ homer cut the Minnesota lead to 6-1.
The Twins scored four runs off Royals’ starter Joe Mays in the third inning. Shannon Stewart drove run with a single, Joe Mauer grounded out to score Juan Castro and Torii Hunter hit a two-run homer.
In the fourth, the Twins made it 6-0 when Stewart and Mauer both drove in runs with ground-rule doubles. Mays (0-4) was pulled after Stewart’s double. He was charged with two earned runs and gave up eight hits.
The Royals road losing streak extended to 13 games, dating back to last season. They’ve lost 12 in a row away from home in 2006 and are one loss away from tying the Major League record for consecutive road losses to start a season.
Royals’ first baseman/designated hitter, Mike Sweeney, was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday, because of a bulging cervical disc in his back. Sweeney suffered the injury on Sunday after swinging the bat in the seventh inning. He told the Kansas City Star that if his back doesn’t get better, he might consider retiring. Back problems forced him to miss large chunks of the 2003 and 2004 seasons. He was hitting .175 with two homer and six RBIs this season.