The wild ride that followed, which concluded on Thursday in a 4-1 loss to the Royals at Kauffman Stadium, dashed all that hope. The twins finished the trip 1-7, faltering by four defeats in five games against Cleveland before being swept away by the fourth-placed Royals.
To put The Twins’ road problems into perspective, they’ve won just four games on the road since the start of August and are 30-45 away this season from Target Field.
“To be honest, disappointing,” Director Rocco Baldeli said of the wild ride as a whole. “Maybe on a low scale as you can imagine. I don’t know how it could be more difficult for the group. … the main winners are not there now for us. The chances weren’t really there. In some of these games, they were. Today was one Things we didn’t have much in from the start.”
On Thursday, the twins slipped in the third inning after back-to-back hits from Bobby Witt Jr. and Salvador Perez. Edward Olivares hit a solo home run to leave in the next inning and Drew Waters followed suit with one on his turn later.
While these were the only players scored by rookie Royals Josh Winder in his six innings of action, they turned out to be more than enough on a day when the twins pulled off quite a bit against rookie Jonathan Hesley, who entered the day with 5.09 running average earned, and the shield of the royal family (61-89).
“You left a lot of pitch in the middle of the board, a lot of intense friction,” Winder said. “I got away with a couple. He didn’t get away with some of the others. Just keep going this week and work on hitting my points a little bit better and getting the balls off the middle of the board.”
The twins collected only two hits – one from Luis Ariz and Carlos Correa – in the loss and scored one run, which came in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly from Nick Gordon.
The loss puts the Quadruplets under 0.500 at 73-77, which equates to the lowest they have been under 0.500 all season (last on April 20). It also lowered the elimination number to three, putting the Twins in position to officially exit the division race for the next two days, a tough pill to swallow for a team that spent most of the season in first place.
“You have to keep playing the game the same way. And you have to keep fighting in the same ways,” Baldeli said. “But we have to find a way to score some runs up and down the squad. And we need to play baseball well. When things don’t go the way you want them to, you have to go back to basics, in a way and remind the players that playing the full basic games is what will win games now for us.”