The Twins actually struck first in this one when Matt Tolbert doubled home Denard Span in the bottom of the first, the first time all season that the Twins have scored a run in the opening inning of play. Liriano (0-3, 9.42) actually looked alright for the first three innings of this one. . .and then came the fourth inning.
Our friends at Twinkie Town describe how that played out.
Oh, the fourth inning. How I loathe you. Let's recap quickly, shall we?
Single, single, single, single, single, single. Yeah, that is actually how the inning started. Liriano's pitching wasn't terrible, and there were certainly some defensive miscues behind him, but he was clearly pitching to contact, and that was clearly not working out so well for him. Escobar was picked off 2B for a free out, and a couple ground outs later, the inning was finally over, with the Royals up 6-1.
Liriano pitched five innings on the afternoon, giving up seven runs (all earned) on eight hits.
The Twins would rally in the bottom of the fifth and put up four runs as they batted around, but that's as close as they would get. The Royals picked up an insurance run in the sixth and three more in the ninth to provide the final margin of victory.
Minnesota will now jump on a plane to head back out on the road, as they kick off a four-game set with the equally struggling Tampa Bay Rays starting tomorrow at Tropicana Field. First pitch for tomorrow's opener will take place at 5:40 PM Central time, and will see Carl Pavano (1-1, 6.00 ERA) take the mound for Minnesota. The Rays will counter with right-hander Wade Davis (0-2, 4.38).