KANSAS CITY, MO. – The Twins wasted a leadoff double by Joe Mauer in the first inning Saturday. The Royals got a leadoff double by Whit Merrifield in the bottom of the inning and were able to advance him to third, then home, with two ground outs.
Righthander Chase De Jong had the Twins in a 2-0 hole after two innings, then couldn’t survive the fourth.
But he wasn’t the only one. By the end of the inning, both manager Paul Molitor and third base coach Gene Glynn were out of the game as well, the Royals got rolling and the Twins were downed 10-3 to extend their season-long road losing streak to eight games.
Tempers boiled over during the fourth inning as the Royals scored four runs to take a 6-1 lead.
With a runner on first, Alcides Escobar lofted a fly ball down the right field line, near the foul pole. Max Kepler raced to the spot but pulled up just before the wall. The ball bounced just inside the foul line and bounced away as Rosell Herrera scored and Escobar chugged into third.
Catcher Cam Gallagher came to the plate, and the Royals attempted a squeeze. But the pitch was low, and Gallagher appeared to pull his bat back. Escobar had started for home but now was well off of third. Twins catcher Willians Astudillo noticed that and threw to third.
Escobar then broke for home. Gregorio Petit tried to throw home, but hit Escobar in the back for an error. The run scored to make it 4-1.
Meanwhile, the Twins dugout was yelling at home plate umpire Ben May that Gallagher offered at the ball and it should have been called a strike. May turned and ejected Molitor as well as third base coach Gene Glynn. Molitor could be heard yelling, “he bunted at the ball!” at May as he came out of the dugout to protest. Technically, they were tossed for arguing balls and strikes.
The inning continued to unravel from there. Gallagher dumped a double to left field that fell in between the defense. Gabriel Moya replaced De Jong but gave up a single and a stolen base to Adalberto Mondesi then a two-run double to Alex Gordon that put the Royals ahead 6-1.
It was the second ejection of the season for both Molitor and Glynn.
It was the latest scene from a season gone sideways, as the Twins - with a roster that looks vastly different than the one they left spring training with - attempts to get through the final games. They are doing so with terrible results on the road.
They have lost eight consecutive road games and have won just one series on the road since late June. Since that time they are 8-29 on the road. And they are on the verge of being swept in this four game series at Kauffman Stadium.
The Twins got a RBI single by Logan Forsythe in the fifth as the Twins cut the deficit to 6-2, but Alex Gordon hit another two-run double in the sixth to put Kansas City ahead 8-2. The Royals added two runs in the seventh.
It’s the 13th time this season the Twins have allowed at least 10 runs in a game. Kansas City pounded the Twins pitching staff for 16 hits, the eighth time this season the Twins have given up that many.