Twins' miscues costly in leading to big frames
KANSAS CITY -- After winning four of five to close out their homestand against the Royals and Indians, the Twins were hoping their miscues that cost them early in the season were behind them.
But they showed up again in Monday's 7-1 loss to the Royals, as the Twins' committed several blunders at Kauffman Stadium. The defense allowed two runs to score via wild pitches, left fielder Oswaldo Arcia dropped a routine fly ball in left field to start a three-run rally in the sixth and a shallow pop fly dropped just beyond the infield to allow another run to score in a three-run eighth.
"We have had a few of those games," manager Paul Molitor said. "We have pretty good shape for a while and then things break down for us. We missed the play in left and we couldn't contain them there."
The first run for the Royals came in the third on a wild pitch from right-hander Kyle Gibson on a walk to Eric Hosmer with one out. Gibson went with a breaking ball in the dirt that Kurt Suzuki couldn't handle, and said he should've gone with a fastball or a curveball that started higher in the zone.
"That was one of the more frustrating at-bats," Gibson said. "It just barely got by Kurt."
But it was a three-run sixth inning that ultimately cost the Twins, as Mike Moustakas started it with a line drive to left field that should've been an easy out for Gibson. But Arcia used just one hand to try to catch it by his side, and dropped it for an error.
"I don't know what happened," Arcia said. "It was an easy line drive. I just missed the ball."
Gibson promptly walked Hosmer after the error before giving up a go-ahead double to Kendrys Morales on a two-strike pitch that fooled Morales, but he was able to shoot it down the left-field line. Reliever Blaine Boyer came in and uncorked a wild pitch to allow another run to score and moved Morales to third, which led to him scoring on a sacrifice fly.
Gibson, who gave up four runs (three earned) over five-plus innings to take the loss, said he didn't blame Arcia for the three-run inning, as he said everyone makes the occasional error.
"You move on," Gibson said. "Errors happen. They're just more blatant in the outfield."
It was more of the same in the eighth, when Morales lifted a high popup with the infield in, but it dropped for an RBI single with center fielder Jordan Schafer making a last-second attempt to dive for it. It led to another three-run inning for the Royals, and Schafer blamed it on a lack of communication with second baseman Brian Dozier.
"I had to run 150 feet to get to the ball," Schafer said. "I'm playing in left-center and had to run a long way. I tried to look at Doz and the ball at the same time. I saw Doz's hands go up, which usually signals he's got the ball. But he was trying to say he didn't know where the ball was."