A tough loss for the Kansas City Royals as they lost a hard fought 7-5 contest to the Minnesota Twins, Saturday, at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals struck first in the bottom of the 1st inning on a pair of unearned runs. David DeJesus led off with a solid single to left. Mark Grudzielanek then bunted for a single to put runners on first and second. After Mark Teahen struck out, Mike Sweeney got on base on an infield single to short, loading the bases. It looked as though the Royals might not cash in when Ross Gload went down swinging and Emil Brown lofted a high fly ball to the outfield behind second base. But Twins second baseman Luis Rodriguez misjudged the ball and had it deflect off his glove for a two base error which brought home DeJesus and Grudzielanek with the first runs of the game.
Minnesota got one back in the top of the 2nd inning. Justin Morneau led off with a double to right-centerfield and was brought home on a Mike Redmond single to right.
The Royals regained their 2-run lead in the 3rd inning on a 395 foot solo shot to left-centerfield by Mark Teahen, his second home run of the season.
The Twins tied it up in the top of the 4th. A Michael Cudyer single, followed by Justin Morneau’s second double of the day put two runners in scoring position. Torii Hunter then doubled to bring home Cudyer, while Morneau stopped at third. Morneau was subsequently tagged out trying to score on Jason Kubel’s ground ball out to first. Hunter, however, moved to third on the double play and came home to score the tieing run on Mike Redmond single to right.
The Royals hopped back on top in the bottom of the 4th when Alex Gordon belted a 416 foot solo homer to right-centerfield for his second roundtripper of the year.
But the Twins weren’t about to let the Royals remain one up. Alexi Casilla, who led off with a single in the top of the 5th, scored from second on a Joe Mauer double.
Once again the Royals went back on top, retaking the lead when Ross Gload singled Mark Grudzielanek, who had doubled and moved to third on a fly ball out.
Southpaw reliever Neal Musser made his Major League debut when he went to the mound for the Royals to start the 6th, but he didn’t last long. After Justin Morneau flied out to left, Torii Hunter and Jason Kubel hit back to back singles. Musser left the game with two runners on. Mike Redmond then picked up his third hit of the day, a single to right off Joel Peralta that brought home Hunter, tieing the score at 5.
The Twins moved ahead for the first time in the top of the 7th scoring twice to take a 7-5 lead. Alexi Casilla led off with a single and stole second. He came home on a Nick Punto triple. Punto then scored on a Joe Mauer sacrifice fky to left. That would end the scoring on the day.
Pat Neshek was the winning pitcher for Minnesota, upping his record to 2-0. Joe Nathan picked up his 6th save. Joel Peralta (0-2) took the loss.
The Royals (5-12) and Twins (11-6) play the rubber game of the weekend series Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.