Never-ending 9th does in Twins, but magic number drops to 4

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Rocco Baldelli

The Twins dropped one at home to the Royals Saturday night as the bullpen imploded in the ninth inning. 

Tied 5-5, Taylor Rogers and Trevor Hildenberger combined to give up seven runs in the top of the ninth inning as the Royals rallied for the come-from-behind victory. 

Fortunately for the Twins, the Indians lost to the Phillies so Minnesota's magic number to win the AL Central is down to four.  

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The year is 2029. Yet, because of the longest ninth inning in MLB history, the 2019 season continues as the Twins and Royals have just gone final at Target Field. 

Final score: Royals 12, Twins 5. 

The first eight innings were finished just after 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. The final six outs lasted almost 10 years, all due to the Twins' bullpen reverting back to its mid-summer 2019 form. 

Taylor Rogers entered the 5-5 game in the ninth and gave up three runs on three hits, including a two-run homer to Chester Cuthbart. It was brutal, with Rogers finally exiting the game after one year on the mound. He was certainly fatigued after recording one out. 

Trevor Hildenberger then pitched for five of the longest years in human history, surrendering four hits and a walk while four Royals touched home plate to turn a 8-5 deficit into a 12-5 Royals lead. 

There is no word if Hildenberger, now 37, will be included on the playoff roster. 

Yes, the 2019 playoffs have been delayed until October 2029 (in week or so). And the Twins are a sure bet to be there, as their magic number to clinch the division title is down to four thanks to the Phillies (now the Penguins, located in Anchorage, Alaska) beating the Cleveland Indians. 

With Hildenberger exhausted after throwing 18 pitches over the course of five agonizing years, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli (now totally bald, ignoring all hair replacement endorsements), called on Jorge Alcala to make his MLB debut. 

Alcala's debut lasted four years, as he unleashed 21 pitches – 10 of them failing to find the strike zone – before the pain half inning concluded. 

Anyway, the Twins lost. Now they play again Sunday and could conceivably win the AL Central by Monday. 

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