KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—This one hit the Kansas City Royals like a sucker punch to the belly, and perhaps planted the seeds of an ugly clubhouse rebellion.
Craig Monroe’s three-run homer with two out in the ninth capped a five-run rally, then Justin Morneau hit a leadoff homer in the 10th to lift Minnesota to a 9-8 victory Wednesday night and stun the Royals with their 10th straight loss.
Afterward, Royals outfielder Jose Guillen let loose in the clubhouse a profanity-filled denunciation of unnamed teammates.
“Too many babies here,” Guillen stormed while seated in front of his locker and spicing his language with obscenity. “They don’t know how to play the game and win the game right, the way it’s supposed to be played. And that’s the problem here. Now I know why this organization’s been losing for a while. Now I know.”
Guillen was incensed that anyone might blame the loss on manager Trey Hillman, whose late-game decisions included leaving Peralta in to face Morneau in the 10th after he had allowed Monroe’s pinch homer in the ninth.
“He cares more than anyone here about winning,” Guillen said. “That guy cares. Every single day. It’s killing him.”
Guillen declined to name players he felt were not doing their share.
“We’ve just got to be smart and know what we need to do to win games,” he said. “That’s it. There’s too many guys that won’t do this, do that, like they’ve given up, like they don’t care.”
While Guillen spoke forcefully, Peralta’s voice hardly rose above a whisper.
“I’ve faced (Monroe) before,” he said. “I just made a mistake. Fell behind in the count and had to throw a strike and—home run.”
Peralta said frustration carrying over from the ninth had nothing to do with the first pitch he threw in the 10th, which Morneau sent sailing over the fence.
“It was a good pitch. He’s just a good hitter and hit it, that’s all,” Peralta said.
Jesse Crain (3-2) pitched one-third of an inning for the win, giving him two victories in two nights when he’s gotten a total of four outs. Joe Nathan worked the 10th for his 14th save in a wild game that had the sparse crowd cheering for most of the night as the Royals, the lowest-scoring team in the majors, rapped out 16 hits and seemed almost sure to snap their demoralizing streak.
The 10-game skid started when the Royals were no-hit by Boston’s Jon Lester on May 19 in Fenway Park, and is their longest since a 13-game slide May 12-25, 2006.
Monroe, who pinch hit for Alexi Casilla, jumped an inside fastball with a 3-2 count.
“I hit it hard and it was a loud sound for me like at the plate, I could feel it,” he said. “I don’t think we ever quit. I went down and hit off the tee, so I was loose.”
Royals starter Zack Greinke gave up five hits and three runs and threw a career-high 117 pitches, handing an 8-3 lead to Ramon Ramirez starting the ninth. But after Mike Lamb and Carlos Gomez delivered RBI singles off Ramirez to make it 8-5, Peralta came in to face Monroe.
“Disappointing, obviously,” said Hillman, whose bullpen was exhausted after a 12-inning loss the night before. “From the extra innings last night, we didn’t have anybody else available.”
Hillman said reliever Leo Nunez, who got the loss Tuesday night, will go on the DL on Thursday with a sprained muscle.
“We knew that before the game but we didn’t say anything,” Hillman said. “After we got in a jam in the ninth, we went to our most dependable guy and he left pitches out over the plate.”
Greinke walked two and struck out eight and gave up three runs and five hits.
“It’s a fun way to come back and get a win, I can tell you that,” said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. “It says a lot about the character of the guys getting after it and never quitting. I know how tough it is on the other side.”
Billy Butler and Alberto Callaspo singled in the Royals fourth, and David DeJesus followed with an RBI single to make it 4-2. The runners moved to second and third on Delmon Young’s bad throw to the plate from left field. Then Joey Gathright, who was 3-for-4 with two runs scored, made it 5-2 with a sacrifice fly.
With two out, Young misplayed Gordon’s deep fly ball for his second error, allowing DeJesus to score the second unearned run of the inning.
“We kept getting after it even though it was a really ugly ballgame up to that point,” said Gardenhire.
The Royals 16 hits were a season high. The first three men in KC’s batting order, DeJesus, Gathright and Gordon, went 8-for-13. … Crain is 6-2 career against Kansas City.
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