By: Jon Van Pelt
By now we should all realize, being down in the 7th inning or later means nothing to the Royals. The Minnesota Twins thought they had it all wrapped up nicely today after a fierce pitching duel between Edinson Volquez and Ricky Nolasco. Both pitchers pitched very well through the first five innings when Volquez, who struck out ten on the day, gave up a series of singles to the Twins and a rare Lorenzo Cain error in the sixth put the Twins on top 2-0. The Royals were quick to answer back with a Mike Moustakas homer in the bottom half of the inning, but were quieted rather soon after.
The Twins continued to pressure KC adding their own home run to put the lead back to two in the top half of the seventh, and maintained the lead through the next two innings. Down two runs in the bottom of the ninth the Royals, however, would not be denied. With one out Lorenzo Cain roped a single to to bring the game tying hitter to the plate in the Eric Hosmer, who had yet to reach base in the game. Hosmer on an 0-2 pitch ripped the ball down the left field line past a diving Eddie Rosario to drive in Lorenzo Cain and motor into third base with a triple and still only one out. The next batter Kendrys Morales hit a long fly ball out to right field with plenty of distance to score Hosmer from third and tie the game.
Flash forward to the bottom of the 10th, Christian Colon led off the inning and didn’t even need to swing the bat as he was walked on four pitches. Manager Ned Yost decided now was the time to utilize outfielder Terrance Gore and pinch ran him for Colon. Gore, one of the fastest base-runners around danced off first for a few pitches and even attempted to steal when Paulo Orlando hit the ball foul. Clearly his dance caught the attention of the Twins pitcher as he tried to pick him off of the bag. The throw was a wild one, and enough for just about any player to advance on, but Gore is not just any base-runner. No sooner had the ball passed the first-baseman than Gore took off for second. Not even considering stopping there, Gore flew all the way to third base without being contested. Two batters later on a wild pitch from Trevor May, Gore yet again ripped off from the base and slid in to score the game-winning, series sweeping run.
The Royals look to keep the momentum going as they begin a four game stent in Houston, facing off with the Division series rival Astros, and a three game set in Oakland with the A’s. Chris Medlen looks to get his first start of the season in game two of the Houston series, while Chris Young, Yordano Ventura, and Ian Kennedy take the other three games.