The Kansas City Royals had a shot to get to two gam..."/> The Kansas City Royals had a shot to get to two gam..."/>
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Royals Drop Both Games Of Doubleheader Vs. Twins

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The Kansas City Royals had a shot to get to two games under the .500 mark today if they could have pulled off two victories over the Minnesota Twins in a day/night doubleheader in Minnesota.

Instead, the Royals dropped both games and fell back to six under .500 on the season. Kansas City’s four game winning streak was snapped, the third time this season that they have failed to extend it to five or more.

In game one of the doubleheader, the Royals sent out the struggling (understatement) Jonathan Sanchez to the mound. Once again, Sanchez looked terrible. The lefty could only go 4 1/3 innings, giving up six earned runs on 10 hits and six walks. Sanchez dropped to 1-4 on the season and his ERA is now an atrocious 6.80 on the year.

For the Twins, they got another great performance out of left hander Scott Diamond. Diamond went 8 innings, giving up only two earned runs on six hits and two walks. The Royals actually had a lot of hard hit balls off Diamond, but they were either hit right to someone, or the Twins defense made a great play. It was one of those games for the offense as the Royals dropped game one 7-2.

Alex Gordon continued to raise his average, going 2 for 3, while Eric Hosmer did the same with a 2 for 4 effort including a hustling double in the 9th inning. Yuniesky Betancourt drove in both the Royals’ runs, giving him 27 RBI on the season

In game two, the Royals’ hottest pitcher in Luke Hochevar took the mound trying to go for his third straight win in his last three starts. Coming into the game, Hochevar had thrown 16 2/3 straight scoreless innings, the longest such streak in his career.

But that came to an end quickly, as Hochevar gave up a two out 2-run homerun to Josh Willingham in the bottom of the 1st inning to give the Twins another early lead. The Royals answered the next inning with a mammoth Billy Butler homerun to right field. It was Butler’s 16th homerun in 75 games this season. Butler didn’t hit his 16th homerun until the 127th game of the season last year on August 23rd.

That was it for the Royals however as Twins’ starter Cole De Vries went 6 innings giving up only one earned run on five hits and one walk while striking out six Royals.

Hochevar on the other hand didn’t have his best stuff on the night. After giving up the 2-run homerun to Willingham in the 1st, Hochevar allowed another long ball, this time a solo shot by Chris Parmelee in the 2nd. The Twins weren’t done. Hochevar allowed his third homerun of the game in the next inning, giving up another solo blast off the bat of Joe Mauer. It was only the third homerun hit by Mauer at Target Field.

The Twins knocked in another run off Hochevar in the bottom of the 6th with a 2-out RBI single from Darin Mastroianni as the Twins swept the doubleheader over the Royals with a 5-1 victory.

This was definitely a disappointing day for the Royals. While no one is surprised by the outcome of game one, I think most Royals fans were expecting at least a split to stay at four games under .500. Instead, the Royals are back to six under with a 35-41 record.

KC is now six games behind the AL Central leading Chicago White Sox (42-36), 3.5 games back of the 2nd place Cleveland Indians (39-38) and 1.5 games back of the 3rd place Detroit Tigers (37-40).

The Royals now need to go 7-1 in the next 8 games to get to .500 before the All-Star break. That seems highly unlikely, but you never know. More realistically, I think most Royals fans would be happy with a 4-4 record in the next 8, which would put the Royals at 39-45 at the break.

Kansas City will try and split the 4-game series with the Twins tomorrow as they send out Bruce Chen (7-6, 4.53 ERA, 1.25 WHIP) to the hill going up against Francisco Liriano (2-7, 5.30 ERA, 1.46 WHIP) for the Twins.

First pitch for tomorrow is at 1:10PM CT and the game will be on Fox Sports Kansas City.