The Minnesota Twins' offense disappeared once again in the first of their two-game set against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night. Minnesota could manage just two hits off of Royals' starter Bruce Chen, and the Twins failed to dent the scoreboard once again in a 4-0 loss at Kauffman Stadium.
The only hits Minnesota managed off of Chen were a first-inning single by Ben Revere, a fifth-inning infield single by Danny Valencia. Revere stole second after his leadoff single, making him the only Minnesota player to reach second base on the evening. Joe Mauer managed a ninth-inning single off of Kansas City reliever Louis Coleman, but the Twins could not make anything of it.
The Royals did all of their damage early against Minnesota starter Carl Pavano, striking in the bottom of the second with a solo homerun by Mike Moustakas to make the score 1-0 in favor of the Royals. It was Moustakas' first home run in 281 at-bats. His last home run came against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 11.
Kansas City added two more runs in the bottom of the third, with the first coming on a solo home run by Alex Gordon to make the score 2-0, and the second on an RBI groundout by Eric Hosmer to make the score 3-0. The Royals' final run came in the bottom of the fourth, when Gordon singled home Salvador Perez to make the score 4-0.
The loss for Minnesota put them a full three games behind the Royals for fourth place in the American League Central, a division they have won the last two seasons. The Royals have finished last in the AL Central in seven out of the last eight seasons. Minnesota has lost 18 of their last 22 games, and in losing the first four games of this road trip, they have scored just seven total runs while hitting .149 as a team.
The abbreviated series will conclude on Wednesday, with the first pitch from Kauffman Stadium scheduled for 3:10 PM Central time. Young Aussie Liam Hendriks will make his second career start for the Twins, while Luke Hochevar (10-11, 4.73 ERA) will take the mound for Kansas City.