By Jeffrey Flanagan and Rhett Bollinger
KANSAS CITY -- Well, it was worth the wait for the Royals.
In a game that was delayed three hours and three minutes, Eric Hosmer drilled a game-winning RBI off Twins reliever J.T. Chargois with none out in the bottom of the 11th inning, leading the Royals to a 5-4 win, their sixth straight. The game started on Friday night at 7:16 p.m. CT and ended at 2:15 Saturday morning.
Cheslor Cuthbert led off the 11th with a single, Lorenzo Cain walked, and Hosmer blasted a 3-2 pitch to the fence in right field, scoring Cuthbert.
"When you play this long," Royals manager Ned Yost said, "you got to win it. … We had chances late in the game, we sure did. I don't normally pull my hair out, but I wanted to."
Before Hosmer singled, he attempted to sacrifice bunt twice, a move that seemed curious for the Royals' cleanup hitter.
"I'm just as curious," Yost said. "I haven't had a chance to talk to him. ... I think he was just deking them so he could get a fastball he could hit over their heads."
Hosmer was serious about bunting, saying, "I was going to do anything to move the runners up. Yeah, they would have walked Kendrys [Morales] but then Drew [Butera] would have gotten it done."
The game also was delayed 12 minutes in the bottom of the sixth when half of the Kauffman Stadium lights went out because of an issue with a timer.
Right-hander Edinson Volquez started for the Royals and carried a 4-1 lead into the fifth. He gave up three runs before the rain delay, after which he didn't return. Volquez allowed four runs on six hits over 4 1/3 innings while striking out five.
Rookie Jose Berrios started for the Twins and went four innings, giving up five hits and four runs while walking four. Like Volquez, he did not return to the mound after the delay.
"It's a tough loss," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We've been having trouble with the Royals. We haven't won a game at this park, so it's frustrating."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Wild, wild second: The Royals took advantage of Berrios' wildness in the second. With one out, Salvador Perez singled to left and Alex Gordon walked. Alcides Escobar hit a shot that caromed off Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe for an RBI single. Raul Mondesi was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Berrios walked Jarrod Dyson and Cuthbert, forcing in two more runs and it was 3-0.
Dozier does it again Brian Dozier has been a thorn in the side of the Royals, and the Twins' second baseman continued his recent tear with his solo homer in the third, giving him homers in seven straight starts against Kansas City. It was crushed to center, as it left the bat at 105.7 mph and went a projected 454 feet, which is his longest homer of the Statcast™ era going back to last year.
"Everything feels good," Dozier said. "I got a good pitch to hit. I worked the count. Spit on a few breaking balls in the dirt and got a fastball right down the middle." More >
Two-RBI night: Dyson got the start in place of Paulo Orlando in center field for the Royals and led off. He forced in one run with a bases-loaded walk in the second and ripped a sharp single to right in the fourth, scoring Gordon and giving the Royals a 4-1 lead.
Polanco ties it up: With rain coming down hard, one out in the fifth and the Twins down by two, Jorge Polanco came through with a game-tying two-run double, despite falling behind 0-2 in the count against Volquez. Immediately after Polanco's double, the rain delay began. After three hours and three minutes, the game resumed with Polanco at second, but he was stranded when Plouffe popped out and Max Kepler struck out against reliever Matt Strahm.
"We had a chance there when we resumed play," Molitor said. "But we couldn't deliver. After that we didn't have a lot of opportunities. I think players learn over time, not that it's easy to do, but sometimes they get too big and try to be the hero instead of trying to put together good at-bats."
"We all thought it would be best to try to play if we could get out there before midnight, and that's what happened. But then we had an electrical failure and extra innings. Those are the kind of things that happen." -- Molitor, on the 11-inning, seven-hour marathon
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Dozier became the fourth player in Major League history to homer in seven straight starts against one team. He joined Ken Griffey Jr., who homered in seven straight against the Rangers in 1994, Harmon Killebrew who homered in nine consecutive against the Kansas City A's in 1961 and Joe Adcock, who did it in nine straight in 1956 against the Dodgers.
WHAT'S NEXT Twins: Left-hander Hector Santiago (10-7, 4.80 ERA) will get the ball for the third game of the series at 6:15 p.m. CT at Kauffman Stadium. Santiago has struggled in August, giving up four or more earned runs in all three of his starts. He's posted a 9.42 ERA this month, which would be the worst mark he's ever posted for a month during the regular season.
Royals: Right-hander Ian Kennedy (7-9, 3.78 ERA) will get the start for the Royals at 6:15 p.m. Kennedy hasn't allowed more than one run in each of his last four outings, during which he has a 1.04 ERA. He's also already pitched in two wins against the Twins this season, giving up two runs over 10 combined innings.