Correia, Twins roughed up by red-hot Royals
Right-hander lasts two innings in club's worst shutout loss since 2011
KANSAS CITY -- It was easily the ugliest loss of the season for the Twins on Monday night against the Royals.
Kevin Correia's midseason swoon continued, as the right-hander lasted just two innings, and reliever Ryan Pressly didn't fare any better in the Twins' 13-0 defeat at Kauffman Stadium.
It was their largest margin of defeat this year, surpassing a 16-5 loss to the Mets on April 12, and their worst shutout loss since the Dodgers blanked them, 15-0, on June 27, 2011. And to make matters worse, the Twins had to turn to middle infielder Jamey Carroll to pitch the eighth, but he ended up throwing a perfect nine-pitch inning.
"I don't think we have to spend a lot of time on that ballgame," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Correia just didn't have it and couldn't make a pitch and they were banging him early and often. They put six up on him and we kinda hung in there until we got to Pressly, and he didn't have much tonight and they blew the game open."
Correia, making his second straight start against Kansas City, was hit hard, giving up six runs in the second inning. It marked the second-shortest start of the year for Correia, who also lasted just 1 2/3 innings only two starts ago against the Mariners on July 25.
It's been part of a recent slide for Correia, who finished May with a 3.96 ERA but now has seen his ERA rise to 4.84. Over his previous 12 outings, Correia has a 5.74 ERA and hasn't pitched an outing of at least seven innings since May 14.
"It definitely makes it a little more difficult facing a team two times in a row but even with a bad start, you can't just go two innings," Correia said. "It's not acceptable. I can go up there and have a bad start and lose and give up runs, but I have to stay in there longer."
The Royals roughed him up in the second with 11 batters coming to the plate, including Mike Moustakas, who led off the inning with a double and later added a two-run single.
Lorenzo Cain brought home the first run with a four-pitch walk with the bases loaded before Eric Hosmer drove home two runs with a single to right. Billy Butler scored Cain with a single to left before Moustakas added two runs with a single to right.
"I had Cain up and had a chance to get a ground ball to end the inning but I walked him on four pitches, which I don't do," Correia said. "So, I just didn't have my location tonight."
Left-hander Brian Duensing relieved Correia in the third inning and tossed three innings before handing it over to Pressly in the sixth. Pressly fared even worse than Correia, as the rookie right-hander gave up seven runs on seven hits over just 1 1/3 innings.
Hosmer crushed a three-run homer off him in the sixth and finished the night with a career-best five RBIs before the Royals added four more runs in the seventh. Alcides Escobar brought home two runs with a single before scoring on a single from Justin Maxwell. Butler capped the scoring with an RBI groundout to bring home Maxwell.
Minnesota's offense was mostly quiet, as right-hander Jeremy Guthrie threw his second career shutout, scattering four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts.
"This was probably the least stressful game that we've played all year long. It was literally a stress-free game," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I can't remember a game all year that there wasn't some degree of stress involved at some point of the game."
The Twins didn't have many chances to rally and had a rough inning on the basepaths in the fourth. Ryan Doumit doubled to lead off the inning, but was thrown out at third on a routine grounder to shortstop by Trevor Plouffe. Plouffe was then promptly picked off at first for the final out of the inning.
With the Twins down 13-0, Carroll, 39, made his first appearance as a pitcher in a big league game. The 12-year veteran threw a 1-2-3 inning, retiring Elliot Johnson, Moustakas and George Kottaras on just nine pitches in the eighth.
"I was just trying to throw the ball and let them hit it," said Carroll, who last pitched when he was 15. "I told [catcher Chris] Herrmann I'd throw only fastballs and try to throw them all away if they get there. I wasn't going to do anything silly. I just wanted to get the inning over as fast as possible and try to save an arm."
It was about the only positive on the night for the Twins, who fell to just 3-11 on the season against the Royals, who swept the three-game series between the two clubs at Target Field last week. Kansas City also improved to 14-3 since the All-Star break.
"This is a hot baseball team right here," Gardenhire said. "They're doing a lot of things good. If you make mistakes against them right now, they'll kill ya."