Royals’ top four fail to knock in runners in, again.
At the start of the season, the Royals have struggled to get runs in when players are at second or third base. Today, out of their three runs only one of them came with runners in scoring position. The team is now 1/20 with runners in scoring position this season.
The Royals once again fell behind early with the Twins scoring in the second inning off of a bloop single, by Ryan Jeffers to right field.
Edward Olivares would respond in the bottom of the second inning with their first run of the season. Olivares crushed an elevated fastball to the left field fountains. The exit velocity of the ball was 107 miles per hour. That hit ended their 19 inning scoreless streak.
A great example of the Royals failing to capitalize on runners in scoring position. With one out in the third Matt Duffy got on base with a softly hit pop up to shallow left field and was able to get on base because left fielder Nick Gordon lost the ball in the sun, and MJ Melendez walked. Both runners would advance on a passed ball. Unfortunately, Bobby Whitt Jr. strikes out and Vinnie Pasquantino hits a hard ball right to the second baseman. Another opportunity with runners in scoring position wasted.
Minnesota would take the lead back after Jeffers poked another ball to shallow right field, in the fourth inning. Making it a 2-1 game
In the fifth inning Keller walked the bases loaded which would end Keller’s day. Amir Garret would come out of the bullpen to get out of the inning and get the job done to strand the runners.
Garret would continue into the sixth inning. Joey Gallow would hit his first home run of the year to put the Twins up 3-1. That was the first run allowed by the bullpen. Dylan Coleman would come in relief with a runner on third and two outs in the top of the sixth inning. He would strike out Carlos Correa to prevent any further damage.
Coleman continued pitching into the seventh inning. Larnach and Buxton singled to start the inning. After getting the next two batters out Gallo smashed a 415 foot homerun, for his second home run of the day. That put Minnesota up 6-1.
The Royals did respond in the bottom of the as Jacky Bradley Jr would walk and Matt Duffy hit his first home run of the year to make it a three run game.
The Twins offense kept moving. In the top of the eighth inning, Minnesota scored another run with two outs. That was their sixth run of the day to come with two outs.
The Royals started the rally in the bottom of the ninth inning with Olivares getting the Royals’ first run with a runner in scoring position of the year. It would not be enough to close the run gap as the Royals fell short.
In Brad Keller’s first start of the season he had a decent day showing One big question about Keller heading into the season was whether he would be able to lower his walk rate? Last year, he had one of the worst strike out percentages and one of the worst walk rates. This was a problem that plagued the entire pitching core during the 2022 season.
During the offseason, Keller added a curveball to his pitching repertoire. While Keller did have some issues locating his changeup he did have a decent outing. He would end the day pitching 4.2 innings, allowing two runs and striking out six batters.
The Minnesota Twins started another quality pitcher in Joe Ryan. Last year he had one of the best fastballs in all of major league baseball. Opposing batters racked up a .174 average against his dominating pitch, fourth best in the MLB. The Royals did struggle with/against his fastball. He would only allow the solo home run ending his day with one earned run and six strikeouts.
The Royals play again on Monday night to start their four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays.