Kansas City’s bats went cold in a low scoring game as the Royals were shut out for the second day in a row.
The Royals would go up against Sunny Grey, a pitcher Kansas City has had very little success against. Grey has the lowest era, in all of the MLB against the Royals over his career. With a minimum of 10 starts. He has given up 1.88 before today’s game and he has not given up a homerun to the Royals since 2014.
Kansas City would put Jordan Lyles on the mound. He was one of the big offseason acquisitions by the Royals. His debut started a little rocky but was good enough for the victory. If his offense could have produced runs for him.
The Twins scored quickly, with two out in the first inning Burton Buxton would slap a line drive double to the left field corner. Trevor Larnach would walk on a seven pitch at bat and Jose Miranda would drive in Buxton from second with a single to center field.
The Twins second run came after Lyles left in the top of the sixth inning. Jordan Yarbrough would give up the run on a shallow sacrifice fly before getting the final out scoring the second run of the day. Lyles was pulled after 5.1 innings pitched.
Manager Matt Quatraro said the Royals offense did better than what the box score looks like.
“I thought we swung the bats pretty well today,” Quatraro said. “Overall there were some pretty well hit balls that ran down or right at guys so it wasn’t as bad as the line probably looks.”
The Royals put 23 balls in play and 15 of those were classified as hard hit. There was not an issue of making contact with the ball but it was being able to get timely at bats. The Royals were 0-14 with runners in scoring position
The bottom of the second inning started with Vinnie Pasquantino hitting a ball in between first and second. This is the first example of a Royals benefiting from the restricted shift rules. Pasquantino faced the shift over 90% of the time last season. He will be one of the biggest benefiters of the no shift heading forward.
The Royals second chance to get on the board came in the third inning when Nicky Lopez, MJ Melenzez and Pasquanitino walked back-to-back-to-back to load up the bases. Unfortunately for the boys in blue they did not capitalize.
In the bottom of the fourth the Royals got the first two men on base with Hunter Dozier getting on with an error by the Twins third baseman and Lopez hitting a bullet to right field. Nate Eaton almost grounded out into a double play but with good base running by Dozier the Royals would keep a runner at first and second with only one out. Unfortunately the Royals would ground out into a double play the following batter.
Two highlights to come out of this game is a play made by Lopez. In the second inning Lopez started a great play to end the inning. A line drive by former Royals Michael A Taylor was caught by Nicky who would throw the ball to first on a bang bang double play.
Arodis Chapman would get his royals debut in the ninth inning. He topped out his fastball at 103 miles per hour.
The Royals finish off their three game opening series against the Twins tomorrow with Brad Keller getting the start.