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Sergio Romo struck out the side in the ninth to pick up his third save and punctuated a game-ending strikeout of Jorge Soler with a hand gesture to the Royals dugout as in “keep talking.”
Royals coach Vance Wilson appeared agitated afterward while several players, including Whit Merrifield and Nicky Lopez, motioned to the Twins on the field as they celebrated. Now the question is whether anything will carry over to Monday night’s contest.
“Yeah, a little taunting going on,” Kansas City manager Mike Matheny said. “What I think we’re seeing, I think, is the result of hearing everything each bench says. You can’t take emotions out of this game. A little taunting to our side and the boys didn’t like it a whole lot.”
“You know, without fans here, you can hear a lot of stuff, and I think (Romo) may have heard something that wasn’t portrayed as that,” Lopez said. “We were hyping up our team. It’s the ninth inning. We’re trying to rally. That was a strike call or a ball call that was a little down, and we said it was down. He might have thought we were talking at him, or something like that.”
Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli, like Matheny, said the lack of fans in the stands may have contributed to the bad feelings.
“I’m not sure what they were upset about,” Baldelli said. “It did seem they were upset about something. All that being said, with baseball and no fans in the stands … anything that is said on the field, on either side, you generally hear it pretty clearly. Probably could create a few more issues than normal.
“I didn’t see anything on our end that I would be concerned about one bit,” added Baldelli. “I think we’re fine to leave it at that, and if they have any kind of issue, they’re always fine to address it.”
–Field Level Media