The Royals won their third straight game with a 4-3 victory over the Twins on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium. Kansas City is still technically alive in the AL playoff race, but the Orioles can eliminate them with another win.
The Kansas City Royals improved to 80-77 on the season. They sit 5.0 games behind the Orioles for the second AL wild card with five games remaining in the season. However, not only does Baltimore need to lose their next five games, KC also trails Detroit by four games, Houston and Seattle by two games, and the Yankees by 0.5 games.
Yeah, the Royals playoff chances are slim and none.
Kansas City fell behind 2-0 with the Twins scoring single runs in the second and fourth innings. The KC Royals struck back in the bottom of the fourth for two scores on Eric Hosmer‘s RBI single and Kendrys Morales grounding into a double play with the bases loaded.
The Twins recaptured the lead in the top of the fifth with yet another single run on Max Kepler‘s RBI single. But, Kansas City immediately re-tied the game in the bottom of the frame on Jarrod Dyson‘s RBI single.
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At this point, both KC’s Ian Kenendy and Minnesota’s Juan Berrios had been pulled from the game. Kennedy lasted 5.0 innings, allowing 5 hits, 3 walks, and 3 earned runs with 5 strikeouts. He left with the Kansas City Royals trailing 3-2, but ended up with a no-decision.
The teams swapped zeros for the next five innings. KC brought in relievers Scott Alexander, Peter Moylan, Kevin McCarthy, Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, Brian Flynn and Brooks Pounders to hold the Twins scoreless through 11 innings. Pounders earned the win to go 2-1 in 2016.
The KC Royals ended the game in the 11th when Raul Mondesi walked to open the inning, stole second, and advanced to third on Jarrod Dyson’s sacrifice bunt. Twins pitcher Tommy Milone then issued intentional walks to Whit Merrifield and Eric Hosmer to create a force at home plate and set up a potential double play.
With both the outfield and infield drawn in, Billy Burns lined a sacrifice fly that scored the speedy Mondesi.
So the Royals playoffs hopes wheeze along for another day. While facing almost certain elimination is disappointing, we need to remember that entering the final week still in playoff contention would have been a big step forward not that long ago (say 2012). Heck, for many seasons during the Kansas City Royals 29-year playoff drought, having realistic hopes in JUNE would have been cause for celebration.
KC fans really have nothing to com;plain about.