The Battle Of The Basement in the American League Central ended in a draw in Minneapolis this weekend. With a rainout on Saturday shortening the Kansas City Royals’ weekend series with the Minnesota Twins, the teams split a pair with the Royals winning 7-6 on Friday and the Twins countering with a 7-4 triumph yesterday.
As expected in the series preview, the hitters were in control and Kansas City had a lot of reasons to be happy with their attack. Can we say beyond a doubt now that Alex Gordon’s April slump is in the books, as the month wraps up? The leftfielder had three hits and two walks in the two games, including a home run and a stolen base. Billy Butler continues to eat up whatever pitching comes at him, going 5-for-9 with a home run, Mike Moustakas had three hits, including one that escaped Target Field. And while Eric Hosmer struggled, let’s give a little shoutout to shortstop Alcides Escobar. Hitting in the 9-hole, Escobar chipped away for three singles and stole a base. If Kansas City can get anything remotely resembling that kind of work from the bottom of the order, they’ll score a lot of runs this season.
Kansas City’s failure to get a series win can really be reduced to a problem of rain and Bruce Chen. Sunday’s starter failed to get out of the third inning and gave up six runs. But Nate Adcock did some very good work out of the pen, going 5.1 IP and giving up just one more run. If the Royals get that kind of long relief, they’ll steal a few wins in a spots like this during the course of the season. And in Friday’s game, the pen combined for five innings and gave up only two runs.
So though the series ended 1-1, the Royals have a right to feel like they played pretty good baseball. A skeptic can say it was just the Twins and given the record that’s fair enough. Now we need to see if Kansas City can keep it going in Detroit starting tonight.
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