Twins start with a bang, then go down in a whimper

It started with a bang for the Twins Friday at Target Field. Then there was nothing, 10 scoreless innings in a 6-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals.

Minnesota’s bats went dead after a four-run first inning, and the Kansas City Royals won the opener of a three-game series Andrew Benintendi two-run, leadoff home run in the 11th inning in front of an announced crowd of 20,803 at Target Field.

Benintendi went 4 for 5 with two home runs and five RBIs and started his night with a three-run, first-inning home run off Twins starter Griffin Jax. He also scored the tying run in the fourth on Michael A. Taylor’s double.

Byron Buxton started the game with a mammoth blast off the second tier fence in dead center, and Josh Donaldson added a three-run home run as the Twins jumped on Royals starter Daniel Lynch. But Lynch settled down to finish with five scoreless innings, and five Kansas City relievers finished the job, each adding a scoreless inning.

Greg Holland pitched the 11th, retiring Donaldson, Miguel Sano and Brent Rooker for his eight save in 12 chances.

At least Twins fans at the park can say they were there for Buxton’s blast, which hit the fence in front of the Minnie & Paul’s terrace high above the juniper batter’s eye. It was officially measured by StatCast to have traveled 457 feet, and was just the seventh home run hit to or beyond the Delta SKY360 Suite, all by Twins (ByungHo Park, Sano, Jake Cave, Nelson Cruz, Donaldson, Trevor Larnach and Buxton).

Jorge Polanco followed with a double into the left field corner, and Rob Refsnyder singled him to third before Donaldson jacked a 423-foot home run into the left field bleachers for a 4-3 lead.

Then it was mostly silent for a couple of hours in a game that lasted 3 hours and 37 minutes.

Lynch was charged with four earned runs on seven hits. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out four. Jax settled down, as well, allowing one run on three total hits over his next five. He was charged with four earned runs on five hits and a walk. He fanned four.

Read More