KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- After losing 104 games last year, the
Kansas City Royals might be even worse this season.
Now they're headed out on a 13-day, 12-game road trip after
winning only two of 15 home games this month. They were swept three
by the Chicago White Sox before the Twins swept this three-game
set, giving the Royals their first winless homestand of six or more
games in franchise history.
"I don't know what to say. Every day we see the same story,"
Kansas City manager Tony Pena said. "Nobody is more frustrated
than the players."
Their 5-17 record is the worst in the majors. Might it actually
be good that they're going on the road for two weeks?
"We don't know yet," Royals starter Runelvys Hernandez said.
"We try to play hard every day, no matter where we're going to
Kansas City came back from deficits of 3-0 and 5-3 and tied it
with an unearned run off Joe Nathan in the ninth. But Wood (0-2)
walked pinch-hitter Joe Mauer leading off the 11th and Nick Punto
sacrificed. Shannon Stewart was intentionally walked, Jason
Bartlett struck out and Ford singled into left, just over the glove
of third baseman Joe McEwing.
"I took two steps to my left and kind of dove," McEwing said.
"It hopped up over my glove and went into the outfield. We'll get
some bounces our way, hopefully soon."
Ford, who almost came out of the game after bunting a ball off
his face in the fifth, has three game-winning RBI against the
Royals this year. The Twins have won five straight and are 5-0
against Kansas City.
"At first I wasn't sure what happened," he said. "My ears
were ringing, my eyes were watering. I never had that happen --
right off the bat and right off the cheek."
Nathan had converted 19 consecutive save opportunities since
last Aug. 19 against the New York Yankees, including six this year,
when he gave up a double to Angel Berroa leading off the ninth.
Berroa tagged up and took third on a ball to deep center, then came
home to tie it 5-all when third baseman Juan Castro bobbled the
Twins starter Kyle Lohse came out in the fifth because of
stiffness in his right shoulder, and the Twins said he will be
re-evaluated in Minnesota. He gave up three runs and five hits.
Hernandez allowed five runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. He
got in trouble in the first when he walked Bartlett and hit Ford
with one out. Morneau followed with an RBI single, Torii Hunter hit
a sacrifice fly, Jacque Jones walked with two outs and Castro hit a
run-scoring double that made it 3-0.
David DeJesus hit a two-run triple in the third and then Mike
Sweeney's sacrifice fly tied it 3-all.
Ford hit a tiebreaking RBI double with two outs in the seventh
and scored on Morneau's third single for a 5-3 lead. Ken Harvey,
recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Omaha, singled leading
off the eighth against Juan Rincon and came around on a passed ball
and two wild pitches to make it 5-4.
Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire bristled when someone suggested
the Royals might be headed for record-loss territory.
"I think the Kansas City Royals are doing a lot of good things
over there," he said. "They have a heck of a young ballclub over
there with some very good players, and some talented pitchers. As
that group comes together it's going to be a very good baseball
team. I wouldn't start talking about that club losing a lot of
RHP Shawn Camp was optioned to Triple-A Omaha, one day
after he threw just three pitches in a relief outing and gave up a
hit batter, a wild pitch and a two-run triple. ... Minnesota's
Corky Miller was 0-for-4 and is 0-for-12 for the year. ... Berroa
was on base four times with a single, double and two hit by