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Soria's scoreless streak comes to an end

Royals reliever gives up four runs as 8th inning unravels vs. Twins
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- A ground ball just out of reach. A line drive mishandled in right field. A walk to a .145 hitter. A hanging curveball.

It all added up to a nightmarish performance for Royals reliever Joakim Soria, who hadn't allowed a run previously this season in nine outings, but gave up four in the eighth inning Friday, allowing the Twins to wipe out a 4-2 deficit and win 6-4.

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KANSAS CITY -- A ground ball just out of reach. A line drive mishandled in right field. A walk to a .145 hitter. A hanging curveball.

It all added up to a nightmarish performance for Royals reliever Joakim Soria, who hadn't allowed a run previously this season in nine outings, but gave up four in the eighth inning Friday, allowing the Twins to wipe out a 4-2 deficit and win 6-4.

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"Jack was off to such a good start -- 10 innings, five hits, 12 punchouts," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We just couldn't help him out much."

The inning started with a grounder to the left of second baseman Whit Merrifield by Eddie Rosario. Merrifield got to it, but fumbled it and Rosario was safe.

"It's a play I got to make," Merrifield said. "On those forearm side balls, you have to get it right in the webbing and I couldn't."

Soria then walked Byron Buxton, the No. 9 hitter who entered the game hitting .145.

"He didn't want to do that," Yost said. "But nights like tonight, it's cold, you lose your grip on the ball. Not making excuses, but that factors into it."

Soria struck out the dangerous Brian Dozier, but Max Kepler lined a shot to right fielder Jorge Bonifacio, who dropped it, loading the bases.

"I lost it in the lights," Bonifacio said. "And then with the bases loaded, I was hoping we'd get a double play."

Instead, Miguel Sano fouled a ball off the facemask of home-plate umpire CB Bucknor, who was shaken and had to be replaced behind the plate by Fieldin Culbreth. The delay took over 10 minutes as Soria had to sit and wait.

Video: MIN@KC: Home-plate umpire leaves game after foul tip

Yost said he didn't know if the delay affected Soria, who then hung a curveball to Sano, which was belted for a two-run double to tie the score.

"You'll have to ask [Soria if it affected him]," Yost said.

Soria, though, has indicated he isn't speaking to reporters this season, at least presently. He was unavailable after the game.

Twins manager Paul Molitor said, "It's hard to say [if the delay hurt Soria]. I know on a cold night the reliever had to buy some time there as they made the transition."

Catcher Salvador Perez said the 0-1 curveball to Sano was supposed to be in the dirt. Instead it hung around the knees.

"We talked about it [during the delay]," Perez said. "We wanted it down."

Sano missed a grand slam by inches. Joe Mauer followed with another two-run double for the lead.

"It's tough right now," Merrifield said. "Unfortunately, you can't take a knee in baseball. You got to get all the outs."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Joakim Soria