Randy Dobnak was out on Friday until he wasn’t anymore. And as was the case with the twins all season, he got little help from the bullpen.
The Twins’ right-hander got off to a good start in the seventh inning before “hitting a wall” that turned into a five-inning for the Royals when Kansas City beat 8-3 at Target Field on Friday Minnesota won.
The biggest crowd of the season, paying 14,260, had little to cheer after catcher Mitch Garver put the Twins 1-0 ahead with a 2-0 home run in the fourth inning. The Twins loaded the bases and scored a couple of runs on the seventh, but they were 8-1 when the inning started.
Royals left-hander Kris Bubic (1-0) settled down after a shaky first inning, holding the Twins for four hits and a run for six innings when Kansas City finished a two-game skid.
Dobnak (1-4) was solid through six, but the Twins followed 3-1 when he took the hill for the seventh inning. Three straight singles loaded the bases and ended Dobnak’s night. Cody Stashak was relieved to let all three runners score, two against Carlos Santana and two more runs as the Royals took an 8-1 lead.
Six of the nine hits Dobnak (1-4) scored were singles; Only one did not result in a run or an RBI. He was burdened with six runs, all of which were earned. He went one and turned out five.
“They say singles can’t beat you,” said Dobnak, “but unfortunately I was somehow beaten by the singles this year.”
Stashak was charged with two deserved runs on three hits in two innings of relief, but he let all three runners he inherited score, the primary narrative for the entire Twins bullpen that season.
“It feels like this,” said manager Rocco Baldelli, “and I know some statistics are going to tell us we didn’t do the job and we’re getting into the inning with people on the ground.” You have to find a way to do this. “
After Friday, Twins helpers allowed 40 out of 60 inherited runners to score a goal this season, 66.6 percent.
“Shak came in and actually when he got the clean inning the (eighth) inning went out and threw the ball great,” said Baldelli. “Closing the previous inning is what we’re talking about and what we’re looking for.”
On his 13th start in the Major League, Bubic (1-0) walked twice and was marked for a double by Nelson Cruz in the first inning but stood still for his first win in three starts this season. After the first, he gave up only three more hits, including Garver’s homerun, and never went another hit. He turned down five.
The Royals scored three with two in the fifth inning after Dobnak ran Hunter Dozier. Michael Taylor followed with a double and Dozier was sent home from the start. Polanco’s cutoff throw was spot on, hitting the catcher with a ricochet, but he jumped out of Garver’s glove with Dozier right in front of him.
“I saw the third basic trainer and it was kind of late,” said Dobnak. “I was surprised they sent him. It was a good shot. I think nine out of ten will probably get it there, but we know what it is. ”
Instead of being out of the inning, the Royals added two more runs to Santana’s double.
The twins had a chance to get back into the game in the seventh inning. Tyler Zuber relieved Bubic and put Miguel Sano in a popup for the first time before going to Jorge Polanco, Rob Refsnyder and Andrelton Simmons to load the bases.
Trevor Larnach, who scored a pinch for leadoff batsman Kyle Garlick, followed with a long single off the wall in the middle of Reliever Kyle Zimmer to score the 8-2 and loaded the bases for Josh Donaldson hold. Donaldson came just yards from a Grand Slam and pulled a liner to the left of the left field’s foul bar before swinging.
“When we had to hit a ball hard or find a gap, we didn’t,” said Baldelli. “We have to do that. I think we had pretty good bats, but I think we need to have better bats to force the action and implement it. ”
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