The Royals scored the next eleven runs. Yes, that's generally pretty bad.
The Kansas City offense sent thirteen men to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning, and scored eight runs. . .all of them with two men out. . .to blow out the Minnesota Twins 11-2 in the second game of their three game set. The loss marks the Twins' fifth straight defeat, and means that Minnesota still has the worst record in the American League at 9-17.
As I mentioned, things actually got off to a good start for the Twins, as Denard Span singled and went to third on Matt Tolbert's bunt single thanks to a throwing error by Royals' catcher Matt Treanor. Jason Kubel then walked to load the bases with nobody out. Justin Morneau then grounded into a double play, allowing Span to score, and Tolbert to advance to third. Tolbert then scored on the Royals' second error of the inning, as third baseman Mike Aviles threw wildly on a ground ball by Michael Cuddyer.
The Royals added single runs in the third on an error by Michael Cuddyer, in the fourth on a solo home run by Billy Butler, and in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Aviles. That made the score 3-2 in favor of the Royals. Then, the eighth inning hit, and Joe Nathan came in to relieve started Brian Duensing. Rather than go into detail, let me just do a bullet point play-by-play of the inning.
-Billy Butler double (Jarrod Dyson pinch-runs for Butler)
-Jeff Francoeur fouls out to first base
-Wilson Betemit intentionally walked
-Alex Escobar pops out to second
So, we have runners on first and second with two outs. No big deal, right? Normally, no. . .but this is the 2011 Minnesota Twins we're talking about. Let's continue.
-Dyson steals third
-Treanor gets hit by a pitch to load the bases
At this point, Jose Mijares comes in to relieve Nathan. The fun continues.
-Chris Getz reaches on an infield single, scoring Dyson and leaving the bases loaded (4-2, Royals)
Jim Hoey now comes in to relieve Mijares, and the real meltdown commences.
-Aviles walks, bases still loaded (5-2, Royals)
-Melky Cabrera reaches on an error by Justin Morneau, Treanor and Getz score, runners on first and second (7-2, Royals)
-Wild pitch by Hoey, runners move to second and third
-Alex Gordon homers (10-2, Royals)
-Dyson reaches on infield single, runner on first
-Francoeur doubles, Dyson scores (11-2, Royals)
And then the inning finally ended. The Twins went down 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth, and the Twins had their fifth straight loss. The last time the Twins had the American League's worst record this late in the season was 2000, a season that saw the Twins finish with a mark of 69-93.
Duensing actually pitched pretty well, allowing three runs (two earned) and scattering eight hits in seven innings of work. He took the loss, dropping his record to 2-1 on the year. Nate Adcock got the victory for the Royals, his first decision of the 2011 season.
The Twins will look to avoid the sweep tomorrow in Kansas City, with first pitch scheduled for 1:10 PM Central time. Carl Pavano (2-2, 5.12 ERA) will try to stop the bleeding for Minnesota, while Luke Hochevar (2-3, 5.68) will take the hill for Kansas City.