The Minnesota Twins aren’t used to playing meaningless games in late September. This year, however, there’s not much on the line for them in the final week of the season.
After trying to play spoiler over the weekend, the Twins open a four-game series with the worst team in baseball, the Kansas City Royals, at the Metrodome.
The Twins lost the final three games of their four-game series with the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox, including Sunday’s 4-1 defeat. Lew Ford had two hits and scored the only run for Minnesota, which had won the Central the previous three seasons.
“Spoiler or not, to come in here and lose three out of four stinks,” Minnesota’s Michael Cuddyer said.
The Twins, 16 games behind the White Sox, have been out of this season’s playoff picture for some time. After this series, they conclude the season with three games against fourth-place Detroit.
“We won one game here. We didn’t quit, we didn’t lay down,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We just didn’t play great baseball here. The guys are trying. You’re facing a team that’s hungry.”
The Royals were also in a spoiler role over the weekend. They avoided a four-game sweep on Sunday, beating Cleveland 5-4 and dropping the Indians 2 1/2 games behind the White Sox.
Emil Brown hit a two-run homer for Kansas City, which closes its season with a three-game series in Toronto.
“It doesn’t seem to matter how far we’re down. This team’s going to battle,” catcher Paul Phillips said. “Today we fought back and got the lead and then lost it and still got it back again.”
Kansas City is two losses away from the franchise record of 104 set last season.