The Royals overcame a three hour rain delay, plus a 20 minute lighting delay, to defeat the Minnesota Twins 5-4 in 11 innings on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium. Overall, the game took more six hours and 59 minutes to complete.
The Kansas City Royals improved to 62-60 with their 5-4 win on Friday. Kansas City remains 9.0 games behind AL Central leader Cleveland. KC gained a game to trail the Baltimore Orioles by 5.5 games for the second AL wild card. Minnesota fell to 49-73. The Twins remain in last place in the AL Central.
A thunderstorm halted play with the score tied 4-4 in the top of the fifth inning. When play resumed in the fifth inning more than three hours later, half the lights in Kauffman Stadium shut off with the Royals batting in the bottom of the fifth. The problem shut the game down for more than 20 minutes.
Neither team could score until the bottom of the 11th when Eric Hosmer slashed a single to right field with runners at first and second. Cheslor Cuthbert scored the winning run to give the Kansas City Royals a walk-off win.
Kansas City jumped out to a 3-0 nothing lead when Salavdor Perez singled to center in the third, followed by a walk to Alex Gordon. Alcides Escobar then drove in Perez with a single to the left-center gap. Twins starter Jose Berrios hit Raul Mondesi Jr. with a pitch to load the bases, and then walked Jarrod Dyson and Cheslor Cuthbert to force in two runs. However, Lorenzo Cain grounded into a double play to end the inning.
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The Twins responded with a solo home run from Brian Dozier, who has slammed a home run in seven consecutive games against the Royals this season. But, Kansas City responded with an RBI single from Jarrod Dyson to regain a three-run lead at 4-1.
With heavy rain looming, many fans on Twitter speculated that manager Ned Yost should bring in closer Kelvin Herrera to nail down the fifth inning. Yost chose to go with starter Edinson Volquez, who had allowed only one run through the first four innings.
Unfortunately, Edinson Volquez surrendered three runs in the top of the fifth inning. Minnesota shortstop Jorge Polanco doubled to score runners from second and third to tie the game at 4-4. Polanco’s hit came just before umpires called a halt to the game with one out in the top of the fifth.
At the time, it appeared as if the rain would cause the game to get cancelled. However, play resumed more than three hours later.
Rookie Matt Strahm took over for Volquez and pitched 1.2 scoreless innings. Peter Moylan, Brian Flynn, Joakim Soria, and Chien-Ming Wang followed to provide 5.0 more innings of scoreless relief. In the end, Wang got the credit for the win to run his record to 6-0 on the year.
Overall, the Kansas City Royals bullpen has rung up 25.2 consecutive innings without allowing run. Chris Young, who pitched two scoreless innings of relief Thursday night, was the only reliever that didn’t pitch on Friday.
Right now, Kansas City is succeeding in every phase of the game. A win on either Saturday or Sunday will secure their fifth consecutive series win.