Kansas City Royals’ Memorial Day rally fails in series opener at Twins

Kansas City Star

The Kansas City Royals were upset by Minnesota Twins ace Joe Ryan for the second time this season.

Ryan turned in another masterful performance on Memorial Day at Target Field, limiting KC to one run in seven innings Monday afternoon.

The Royals managed just four hits and struck out nine times while he was in the game.

As a result, the Twins earned a 6-5 victory in the series opener. KC fell to 34-21 and lost its second straight game.

There were some tense moments late in the game for Minnesota as the Royals nearly mounted a comeback in the ninth inning. KC scored four points to make things interesting but couldn’t get any closer.

Ryan navigated the Royals lineup expertly. He located his four-seam fastball and mixed it into a dynamic sweeper and slider. The heater reached a top speed of 96.6 mph and generated 26 swings and 11 whiffs, according to Baseball Savant.

The Royals failed to adjust to Ryan’s business. He struck out 15 of his first 16 batters, with Bobby Witt Jr. providing the Royals’ only hit during that span.

At the plate, the Twins set the tone early in the game. In the third inning, third baseman Jose Miranda hit a two-run homer.

Later, Twins designated hitter Trevor Larnach added some key insurance for the hosts. He drilled a three-run homer into the second deck in right field.

Those errors haunted Royals starter Alec Marsh, who allowed five runs in seven innings and took the loss.

First baseman Vinnie Pasquantino hit an RBI single for the Royals in the sixth inning. Outfielder Hunter Renfroe doubled in a run in KC’s four-run ninth. The Royals’ remaining runs in the ninth inning came via an infield single by Dairon Blanco and an error by the Twins.

Minnesota closer Jhoan Duran finally managed to close the door on his team’s 29th win of the season.

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Here are the most notable aspects of Monday’s game:

Kris Bubic takes the next step in his rehabilitation mission

Royals starting pitcher Kris Bubic was traded to Triple-A Omaha on Monday.

Bubic, who is on a rehabilitation mission after Tommy John surgery, is closing in on a potential return to the big league club.

He has moved up the ranks in the Royals farm system over the past few weeks. He started with the Surprise Royals in the Arizona Complex League (ACL). Then he made a few Double-A starts with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.

In two Class AA starting assignments, Bubic allowed five earned runs in five innings. It’s likely he’ll make a few more starts with the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers.

From there, the Royals will decide where he lands once his rehab assignment is complete.

What’s next on the KC Royals schedule?

The Royals are back in action Tuesday night.

Southpaw Cole Ragans will make his 12th start this season. On March 28, he allowed two runs and recorded nine strikeouts against the Twins.

Minnesota will start right-hander Simeon Woods-Richardson. He has a 2.57 ERA in seven starts.

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