On the Twins front, it was a game that J.J. Hardy would like to forget. The former Twins shortstop struck out in his last three plate appearances, including a swinging strikeout in the 10th inning to put the Orioles in a two-out hole.
How did we get to extra innings?
Accurately, a comeback from the Baltimore Orioles got us there.
The Kansas City Royals kicked off the scoring in the game in the third inning when Alcides Escobar hit a solo homer to make it 1-0. Four batters later, Alex Gordon hit a three-run double to make it 4-0 and it started to feel like the Royals magic would just keep chugging along.
The Orioles started chipping back. Adam Jones hit an RBI single in the bottom of the third to get on the board at 4-1. Nelson Cruz hit an RBI double and Ryan Flaherty hit a two-run single to make it 5-4 in favor of KC.
Alejandro De Aza hit a little infield bloop landing right behind the mound to tie the game up in the sixth. The score would stay that way for a while.
More from Minnesota Twins History
- Minnesota Twins: A look back at the 2021 Trade Deadline, One Year Later
- Minnesota Twins: Taking a Look Back at the Original Taylor Rogers deal
- Minnesota Twins: Looking Back at Miguel Sano’s 2017 Home Run Derby
- Minnesota Twins: My Time With Hall of Fame Inductee Tony Oliva
- 15 for 15: Ranking the Top 15 Minnesota Twins from the Last 15 years
James Shields only lasted five innings for the Royals and was responsible for the first four Oriole runs in the game.
The Royals were trying to be gracious in the ninth inning. The Orioles were gracious.
Zach Britton walked three straight Royals in the top of the ninth, while the Royals tried to bunt over the first runner but Britton simply could not find the strikezone. Britton at one point threw 12 straight balls.
The Orioles got out of the jam. You read that right. Eric Hosmer hit a grounder to first, but first baseman (kinda ex-Twin) Steve Pearce threw home and Nick Hundley somehow kept his foot on the plate while digging out a bad throw for the force out.
Billy Butler came up next and faced Darren O’Day. O’Day got Country Breakfast to get the Orioles out of the jam, at the moment.
The game went to extras. Alex Gordon led off the tenth and didn’t wait to give his Royals the lead. Gordon hit a solo shot to give the Royals a one-run lead. A couple batters later, Mike Moustakas hit a two-run blast to give the Royals an even bigger lead.
The Royals recorded two quick outs in the bottom of the tenth, but after a single and a walk, ex-Twin Delmon Young was called onto pinch hit for the Orioles. While Young represented the tying run, he hit a single right up the middle to score a run, but that’s all the O’s could muster.
The Royals reined victorious 8-6.
Game two is Saturday with a scheduled first pitch of 3:07 Central.