The Kansas City Royals depend heavily on aggressive base running. Just because they got bit by it in Saturday’s loss, don’t expect them to change theirapproach.
Jarrod Dyson was at third base with one out in the bottom of the ninth of a 5-4 game. The infield was in, but he was off on contact. A line drive to the shortstop by Michael A. Taylor resulted in a double play that ended the game.
The two clubs will be back at it Sunday to wrap up a four-game series. The Royals will send Brady Singer (3-4, 5.06 ERA) to the mound against rookie Bailey Ober (0-0, 9.00), who gets the call as the Twins announced that Michael Pineda has been pushed back a couple of days to recover from a sore right forearm.
“We were (going) on contact,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said after Saturday’s game. “You’re taking a gamble every time you do that, because you are going to be susceptible to a double play. But you’ve got to take your chances.”
Dyson came on as a pinch runner when Kelvin Gutierrez led off the ninth with a double off the wall in center. After Jorge Soler grounded out to shortstop, first baseman Miguel Sano tried to pick off Dyson at second. The ball got away and Dyson dashed to third. He was ruled out initially, but the call was reversed, setting up the game-ending play.
“We want him to use his legs,” Matheny said. “He made it, so it was a good play. You get him there with one out, that’s ideal. That’s where we want to be.”
Taylor was not remorseful either.
“It’s a little bit frustrating, but I try not to turn a positive into a negative,” he said. “I’ll take the hard contact and hopefully find a hole next time.”
The Twins snapped a four-game losing streak, and manager Rocco Baldelli was not about to feel sorry for being fortunate at the end.
“We had something kind of not go our way, and then we had something go our way to finish the game,” he said. “I think we played a well-played game. The excitement at the end, kind of the cherry on top.”
The Twins will look to make it two in a row with Ober getting the nod. He will be called back up from Triple-A St. Paul after making his debut on May 18 against the Chicago White Sox. He did not factor in the decision but gave up four runs on five hits, including two home runs, in four innings with four strikeouts as a spot starter for Pineda.
Singer picked up a win in his last outing, but it was anything but crisp. He gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“He fought his way through,” Matheny said of Singer’s outing. “He had a little bit of trouble. He did a nice job when he needed to.”
For his career, Singer is 1-3 against the Twins with a 5.40 ERA in four starts, including a loss on April 30, when he allowed one run on two hits in two innings.
–Field Level Media