Sunday, April 10, 2016

Royals score 'wild' walk-off win, series sweep

Speedster Terrance Gore, pinch-running for Christian Colon, scored on a wild pitch from Twins reliever Trevor May with two out in the 10th as the Royals rallied past the winless Twins, 4-3, in walk-off fashion on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium.
After Colon walked, Gore entered and advanced to third on a wild pickoff throw from May. Then with two out, May spiked a curve that got away from catcher John Ryan Murphy by only 10 or 15 feet. But that was enough for Gore, who beat the throw from Murphy to May.
"All I need is a trickle," Gore said, smiling. "I knew I'd make it."
Added manager Ned Yost, "People wonder why we have [Gore] on our roster. That's why. He can win a ballgame with his speed."
The Twins are now 0-6, the only winless team left in the American League.
"We're going home 0-6 and it stares at you right in the face," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "You're hoping with the way our season went last year, our Spring Training, the guys we have expectations for and all that, that we'd get off to a better start."
Down 3-1, the Royals rallied in the ninth off Twins closer Glen Perkins. With one out,Lorenzo Cain singled and scored on a slicing triple to left by Eric HosmerKendrys Morales drove Hosmer in with a deep flyout to right.
Right-hander Ricky Nolasco started for the Twins and walked none and struck out five. He threw 98 pitches, 67 for strikes. Eduardo Nunez had four hits, Joe Mauer had three hits, and Brian Dozier socked his first homer of the season for the Twins.
Right-hander Edinson Volquez gave up two runs in 5 2/3 innings for the Royals. He struck out 10, his high as a Royal.
Comeback kids get a break:The Royals had 40 come-from-behind wins in the regular season last year, and eight more in the postseason. So it may not have been a big shock when they got to Perkins, though Hosmer's slicing fly to left probably could have been caught by Eddie Rosario. Hosmer, in fact, was running somewhat lightly to first, perhaps thinking it would be caught. When the ball scooted past Rosario, Hosmer kicked it into gear and made it to third easily. More >
"The big at-bat was Morales'," Yost said. "He stayed with it and drove a ball out there. But that's what we do."
Mauer, Nunez carry offense: Mauer and Nunez each had three hits against Volquez, and both helped spark a two-run rally in the sixth. After a leadoff single from Eddie Rosario, Mauer reached on an infield single. It set up an RBI single from Miguel Sano before Nunez knocked Volquez from the game with at two-out RBI single. Nunez later added a fourth hit in the eighth, and was hit by a pitch on his right forearm in the 10th. He remained in the game to run, but was replaced by Trevor Plouffe in the bottom half of the inning.
Moose jack: Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas provided some spark against Nolasco when he got ahead in the count, 2-1, in the sixth. Moustakas then feasted on a fastball and blasted it into the right-field seats, cutting the lead to 2-1 at the time. It was Moustakas' second homer in as many days.
"I think that home run is what got us going," Hosmer said. "We hadn't been doing much and that gave us some life."
May day: May had trouble with his control in the 10th, walking leadoff hitter Colon on four pitches before committing a throwing error on a pickoff play at first base, allowing Gore to reach third. And the game-winning run came on a wild pitch from May with Cain at the plate.More >
"They put pressure on you and they don't strike out much," said Perkins, who blew his first save opportunity of the year. "They put the ball in play and things happen. It builds up over the course of a game. It's why they won the World Series and went the year before."
The Twins fell to 0-6. Only three teams in baseball history have come back from being 0-6 and made the postseason: the 2011 Rays, the 1995 Reds and the 1974 Pirates.
Twins right fielder Miguel Sano was ejected in the seventh inning after arguing with home-plate umpire John Hirschbeck about a called strike three. Max Kepler, who was called up from Triple-A Rochester on Sunday, replaced Sano.
Twins: The Twins return for their home opener against the White Sox on Monday at 3:10 p.m. CT. Right-hander Kyle Gibson gets the nod, and is looking to shake off a subpar start in his debut. The Twins are hoping a return home helps jumpstart their season, as they were 46-35 at home in 2015.
Royals: Right-hander Chris Young (0-1, 3.60 ERA) and the Royals start a seven-game road trip through Houston and Oakland with the opener of a four-game set against the Astros on Monday at 7:10 p.m. CT.

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