Justin Morneau came up with the bases loaded and no outs.
It felt like a typical Royals game against the Twins, where the Royals fall all over themselves to give the game away.
Then Morneau grounded out into a 4-3-6-4 double play. Span scored on the play, but the Royals got two outs. An error by Mike Aviles allowed Tolbert to score.
Amazingly, even with seven O’Sullivan walks, those were the only runs the Twins scored.
The Twins weren’t looking like themselves. Misplays on the field, walks to Royals batters, bad situational hitting.
Then, the Royals and Twins seemed to switch places as Twins left fielder Rene Tosoni made an ill-advised dive for a Chris Getz liner that rolled to the fence. Getz ended up on third with a triple and Mike Aviles did his job by hitting a sacrifice fly to get the lead run in. If Tosoni lets the ball drop, he probably holds Getz to a single.
In the eighth, the wheels came off for Minnesota. Butler led off with a double and and was replaced by Jarrod Dyson as a pinch runner, as the Royals were trying to get an insurance run. After Jeff Francoeur fouled out to Morneau in foul territory, an intentional walk to Wilson Betemit and pop out by Alcides Escobar, the Royals added an insurance run. Or two.
Joe Nathan went to 3-0 on Matt Treanor before hitting him with a pitch to load the bases. Then Getz, with two strikes against lefty Jose Mijares, tossed the bat out and got just enough contact to get the ball in play, reaching on an infield single. The Twins brought in Jim Hoey who walked Mike Aviles, driving in a run.
Melky Cabrera hit a chopper to short and would have been out by a step, but Morneau let the ball slip out of his glove, allowing Treanor and Getz to score. Alex Gordon added an exclamation point on a deep drive into the right field seats. Dyson, still in the game for Butler, hit a chopper deep to the second base hole and beat it out, then scored again on a double by Francoeur.
I don’t know what it is, but the Royals are a fun team to watch at home, a big difference from the team we saw on the road against Texas and Cleveland.
After working a scoreless seventh, Nate Adcock earned his first major league win.
Tomorrow, Luke Hochevar (2-3, 5.68) takes on Carl Pavano (2-2, 5.12) as the Royals try to sweep the Twins for the first time since a four game sweep in May 1999. They haven’t won three in a row in a series against the Twins since June 2003.