A pair of streaks came to an end Wednesday in Kansas City. Neither of them were favorable for the Minnesota Twins.
The Twins entered Wednesday’s game against the Royals having shut out their opponents for a stretch of 20 consecutive innings. That included two straight shutouts as Minnesota blanked the Seattle Mariners by a 10-0 final on Sunday and the Royals by a score of 3-0 in Tuesday’s series opener.
That scoreless innings streak didn’t last long, however. In fact, Minnesota couldn’t get through the first inning Wednesday without allowing a run. With one out in the first inning, the Royals took an advantage of a two-base error by shortstop Pedro Florimon to score the game’s first run. It ended the Twins’ scoreless innings streak at 20 1/3 innings.
The other streak that ended Wednesday was Kansas City’s home futility streak. The last-place Royals had lost 11 straight home games — a franchise record. Before Wednesday’s 4-1 win over the Twins, Kansas City’s last win at Kauffman Stadium was way back on May 5, a 6-5 win over the Chicago White Sox.
“It feels awesome,” Royals closer Greg Holland said of the win. “Especially against a division rival like Minnesota. They’ve got a great lineup.”
The same two teams will face off Thursday in the series finale.
Walters solid despite loss: Twins right-hander P.J. Walters has now made three starts in the majors this season since being called up from Triple-A Rochester. Including Wednesday’s effort, he has pitched six innings in all three starts.
Walters did not allow an earned run Wednesday but was still hit with the loss as he gave up three unearned runs — all in the first inning. The Royals scored three times in the first thanks to Florimon’s error, meaning none of the runs were charged to Walters. Still, the 28-year-old right-hander took the blame for the loss after Wednesday’s game.
“I gave up three runs and we lost by three,” Walters said. “Earned or not, they’re still my runs. I still gave them up. At the end of the day, my job is to win the games.”
Walters was called up in late May as the Twins searched for some consistency in the starting rotation. He offered that in his first outing as he allowed just two earned runs on eight hits in six innings in a 3-2 win over Detroit. One start later, Walters surrendered four runs on 10 hits in another six-inning outing — and another Twins win.
Wednesday was his first loss of the 2013 season, but he settled down after allowing three unearned runs in the first inning. Walters finished the day with two strikeouts, three walks and seven hits allowed. He managed to lower his ERA to 3.00 in three starts.
Buxton shines in return to the lineup: Twins outfield prospect Byron Buxton missed several games with a thumb injury, but he had a big night in his first game back in the Cedar Rapids lineup Wednesday.
Buxton went 5-for-6 with two triples, a double, an RBI and three runs scored as he helped Low-A Cedar Rapids top Quad Cities by a 14-5 final. Buxton now has seven triples on the season and is batting .348.
Buxton was one of eight Kernels players named to the Midwest League 2013 All-Star game. Joining him in the starting lineup are first baseman Dalton Hicks, second baseman Jorge Polanco and fellow outfielder Adam Walker. Also earning All-Star nods are infielders Travis Harrison and Niko Goodrum and pitchers Tyler Duffey and Jose Berrios.