The Royals lost 7-6 to the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium Friday night. Once again, the Kansas City bullpen faltered in the late innings in a September loss.
KC’s bullpen failed again in the late innings in September, which has been a recurring theme in the month. Kelvin Herrera gave up three runs on five hits in the top of the ninth after entering the inning tied 4-4. He only managed to record two outs before requiring rescue from Brooks Pounders.
Kansas City seized the early lead by plating two in the second inning on RBI singles by Alcides Escobar and backup catcher Drew Butera. KC knotted the score in the bottom of the seventh when Jarrod Dyson slammed a triple into the gap to score Butera from first, followed by Whit Merrifield‘s RBI single with two outs.
Danny Duffy came into the game looking for his 13th win. He shut out the Twins for the first five innings, but Kennys Vargas slammed a solo home run in the sixth. Duffy then gave up three runs in the seventh to put the Royals behind 4-2. Duffy finished the game lasting 6.1 innings, allowing 8 hits, 2 walks, while striking out 3. He completes the season with a 12-3 record and a 3.51 ERA in a career high 179.2 innings pitched.
Chris Young recorded the final two outs of the frame to escape the seventh, and held the Twins scoreless in the eighth.
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However,they could not overcome Kelvin Herrera’s three-run collapse in the final frame. Kansas City scored two runs on Eric Hosmer‘s double play with the bases loaded to score one run, and Salvador Perez‘s pinch hit single to plate Dyson in the ninth. However, the Twins picked off pinch runner Terrance Gore at first base to end the rally.
In many ways, this loss is a microcosm of the season. The KC Royals made too many mistakes to overcome their weakened bullpen despite still having the heart of a champion.