Sano Home Run Downs Royals, Fall 3-2 in 12 Innings


2. Final. 2. 7. 3

The Royals dropped their fifth game in six days, as well as their second consecutive series, in a 3-2 loss to the Twins Wednesday night.

Twins starter Mike Pelfrey, who came into tonight’s contest with a career 6.17 ERA in five career starts against the Royals, gave Minnesota 5 1/3 serviceable innings.

He gave up one run, via Ben Zobrist‘s 6th inning home run, on just five hits despite just striking out one Royal.

His counterpart Kris Medlen, who gave up seven runs in 5 2/3 innings in his last start, rebounded nicely, giving up two runs and scattering just three hits across his six innings of work.

Medlen no-hit the Twins through five before giving up a lead-off home run to Kurt Suzuki in the 6th to start the scoring.

After giving up a walk to Aaron Hicks and a single to Brian Dozier, Joe Mauer singled home Hicks to give the Twins a 2-0 lead.

Alex Gordon helped prevent any further damage by throwing out Dozier, who tried to take third on the play.

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The Royals went into the sixth inning with just three hits, before Zobrist added a fourth with his 12th homer of the season.

The Royals put the next two men on-base, chasing Pelfrey in favor of Neal Cotts with two on and just one out.

However, Hosmer ran into some hard luck, lining out to center fielder Byron Buxton before Kendrys Morales flew out to Buxton to end the inning.

After a scoreless 8th inning from Wade Davis, Zobrist lead off the Royals half of the inning with a triple before being driven in on a Lorenzo Cain sacrifice fly to tie the game at 2-2.

After another scoreless inning from the Royals bullpen in the 9th, the Twins defense faltered, as a routine fly ball from the bat of Moustakas fell in between left fielder Eddie Rosario and third baseman Eduardo Nunez.

Moustakas was then replaced by Terrance Gore, who proceeded to steal second base with ease.

After Salvador Perez flew out to left, Gore stole third, but was stranded on an Alex Rios groundout.

The Royals came right back to threaten in the tenth, spearheaded again by Zobrist, who walked and was replaced by Jarrod Dyson.

Dyson stole second, interestingly enough with no effort to be thrown out by Suzuki, before Gordon was hit by a pitch, forcing Paul Molitor to replace Brian Duensing with Blaine Boyer.

Dyson then stole third, but was thrown out at the plate on a ground ball back to Boyer.

The throw took Suzuki into the third base line, where Dyson slid into him and was called out.

Suzuki was hurt on the play and removed from the game as Ned Yost requested a review, which was upheld.

Hosmer followed by grounding out to first to end the threat.

The game came to a standstill until Miguel Sano pinch hit in the top of the 12th.

After taking what looked like strike three, and it should be noted that it was definitely a strike, Sano hit a 3-2 Franklin Morales fastball over the left field fence to give the Twins a 3-2 lead.

The Royals went quietly in the 9th to give Minnesota the series win.

Although a proper strike call would have extended the game, the Royals had their chances before the 12th, but went hit-less in eight at-bats with runners in scoring position on the night.

Next: Kansas City Royals vs. Baltimore Orioles, Friday, September 11,  6:05 P.M. CT, Camden Yards; LHP Danny Duffy (7-7, 4.17 ERA) vs. RHP Mike Wright (2-4, 5.19 ERA)