Jun 25, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher James Shields (33) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

James Shields, Michael Mariot Hammered by Twins in 10-2 Loss

Heading into tonight’s game, the Royals appeared to have an advantage on the mound, as James Shields was facing off against the Minnesota Twins’ Ricky Nolasco. Nolasco had been hammered for the most part this season, and while Shields had been shaky, one would have expected that he would right the ship. Instead, it was Nolasco who broke out of his slump, as the Twins defeated the Royals 10-2.

Minnesota struck first against Shields in the bottom of first inning. Eduardo Nunez, who had never led off at the major league level before tonight, reached on an infield hit. After an out, Chris Parmelee hammered a double to deep center, putting the Twins on the board.

The Royals came back in the top of the second, but also missed an opportunity. With one out, Raul Ibanez singled in his first Royals at bat since 2003. Omar Infante followed with a base hit to shallow right, and Ibanez tried to take third. The throw from Oswaldo Arcia was on line, catching Ibanez at third for the second out. Infante moved up to second, which proved vital as Mike Moustakas followed with a base hit to tie the game at 1-1.

Defensive miscues led to another run in the third. With two outs and a runner on first, Parmelee lifted a fly ball to shallow left field that appeared as though it would be the third out. Instead, Moustakas ended up getting in Alex Gordon‘s way, making room at the last second as the ball hit off Gordon’s glove for a two base error. Kendrys Morales followed with an infield single to deep in the hole at short, giving the Twins a 2-1 lead.

The Twins took over from that point. Minnesota loaded the bases in the fourth, getting a run on a sixty foot grounder down the first base line when neither Shields nor Infante went to cover first. Joe Mauer followed with a two run double to left center, giving the Twins a 5-1 lead. Mauer hurt himself on the play, and ended up leaving the game with what was called a right oblique strain, which will likely result in his missing tomorrow’s contest.

After James Shields departed following the fifth, Michael Mariot came in to try to keep the Royals close. Instead, he turned out to be the proverbial can of petrol on the fire. Nunez greeted Mariot by belting his third pitch for a home run to left. After consecutive one out singles, Trevor Plouffe hit a grounder to second that Infante was unable to handle, leading to another run. A walk loaded the bases before Mariot walked Kurt Suzuki to force in a run, ending Mariot’s night and bringing in Francisley Bueno. Sam Fuld hit a two run single off Bueno, giving the Twins a commanding 10-1 lead.

The Royals got a run back in the top of the second, as Danny Valencia drove in Jarrod Dyson with a double to center, but the damage was already done as the Twins defeated the Royals 10-2. James Shields took the loss, giving up five runs, four earned, on nine hits and two walks, striking out five in his five innings of work. Mariot was hammered by the Twins, giving up five runs, with two earned, on three hits and two walks while recording a single out.

On the positive side, Eric Hosmer was 4-4 with four singles. Christian Colon made his major league debut in the bottom of the seventh and was 0-1, grounding out to third in his first at bat for the Royals.

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Tags: James Shields Kansas City Royals Michael Mariot

  • cardsfanatik

    I would much rather your positive note about Hosmer include an extra base hit of some sort :/ I’m not sure what’s going on with this team, but even with Shields sucking right now, 2 runs against the Twins isn’t going to get you to October. This team needs some help, and it needs it NOW. Not in 2 or 3 weeks. Butler is a double play machine, Moustakas and Hosmer haven’t lived up to their hype. Big Game James has hit a wall. While this team is the best it has been in around 30 years, its still not good enough. It needs an enema. Preferably of the power hitter type. I am to the point that I really don’t care who it costs, other than Ventura. There isn’t going to be a team interested in many of our Major League club other than Salvy, Gordon, or Escobar. But it would be stupid to trade them anyway. I still don’t see a ton to be excited about this year, and that sucks. It’s not like help is on the way next year from the minors either. Where in the hell is Dayton’s 8 year plan taking us?

    • unclejesse40

      When you create a team that has to manufacture runs with single and double power, you better make sure that you also create a team that has a extremely high on base percentage, which this team does not. Stop swinging at everything! Make a pitcher throw you strikes and then hit the snot out of them. And if he refuses to throw strikes than take your walk and make him pay for it.

      I agree with you completely that AAA is more like AAAA because none of those guys are much more than spot starters, or already failed starters.

      And what the heck Hosmer, you go 4-4 in a blowout but can’t remotely get on base in a close game. In my book that is worthless baseball. Escobar has much more value to me because at least he hits in tight games.

      • cardsfanatik

        Agree completely. They need to take some lessons from Oakland. Those guys will completely wear a pitcher out. The Royal’s really do swing at EVERYTHING. And I NEVER see them shorten up either. If they get 2 strikes, they don’t just try to go with it somewhere, its still an “all or nothing” type swing. FFS, my son that plays USSSA knows that when you get 2 strikes, just choke up and hit it somewhere, and why in the hell have a few of them been swinging 3-0? If your going to swing 3-0, it damn well better knock a beer out of a fans hands over the fences somewhere.

  • Stan Colbert

    Man what a huge pile that was! That was a terrible game.