The Twins were mathematically eliminated from post-season contention on Saturday, losing 5-1 to the Royals. The game was tied 1-1 after six innings, but the Royals rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh after starter Tommy Milone exited the game.
Reliever Blaine Boyer started the frame, but allowed a one-out triple to Alcides Escobar, followed by a two-out, run-scoring infield single by Lorenzo Cain before departing. Neal Cotts replaced Boyer, but he walked Eric Hosmer, then saw Jonny Gomes reach base and bring in a run on Trevor Plouffe‘s fielding error which also included a run-scoring throwing error by left fielder Eddie Rosario. Mike Moustakas plated a run with a double to make it 5-1. Trevor May relieved Cotts and struck out Salvador Perez to end the inning mercifully.
Royals starter Yordano Ventura struck out 11 over seven innings, limiting the Twins to one run on four hits and three walks. Danny Duffy worked a scoreless eighth. Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis combined to blank the Twins in the ninth to slam the door.
The Twins won 70 games or fewer in each of the previous four seasons, so their 83-78 record is a significant improvement.