KANSAS CITY, MO. - Denard Span left Saturday's game after the seventh inning, and the impulsive thing to do at this time of year was to suspect that he was packing his bags and headed for the transaction wire.
Span, however, was not traded during the Twins' 7-3 loss to the Royals, which forced speculating social media to come to a screeching halt. But new speculation must be placed upon the center fielder's health.
Span said he left the game because he didn't feel well. He actually used the word "dizzy," which raises an eyebrow because of the concussion he suffered last year and the subsequent symptoms he had to overcome heading into this season.
"I felt my head kind of spinning a little bit," Span said. "I felt like I was moving in slow motion. So I felt it was best for me to come out of the game. I didn't want to do anything to cost us the game."
Span said he knew something was wrong when he tried to track Lorenzo Cain's double in the seventh inning.
"Things just didn't seem as sharp as they have been," Span said. "This is the probably the worst I feel all year. I'll just go to sleep and see how I feel [Sunday]. I'm not too worried about it."
Given Span's recent history, any hint of a problem could be a red flag as the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline approaches. Span has been identified as a trade target.
By the seventh inning, Span really didn't have worry about what he could do to ruin the Twins' chances. The Twins committed two errors, missed other plays they should have made, missed a steal sign, threw to a wrong base and failed to make big pitches when they needed to. And Kansas City just took it to them on Saturday.
The Royals' 16-hit attack included 10 off Twins starter Scott Diamond, who got several ground balls -- but many found holes. The leadoff hitter reached in each of the first five innings, and Diamond seemed to be in a battle all night. It didn't help that second baseman Alexi Casilla committed an error in the first and first baseman Chris Parmelee booted a grounder in the fifth -- both run-scoring innings for the Royals.
If it weren't for five double plays turned by the Twins, things could have been uglier.
"The last time when I faced these guys [a Twins victory on June 30], a lot of the balls were hit right at guys," said Diamond (8-4), who gave up four runs over six innings. "So it can go either way. I won't second-guess myself, I thought I pitched pretty well."
The Twins scored twice in the fourth to tie it at 2-2, but Kansas City got two runs in the fifth. One run scored on a line single to left by Cain. Ryan Doumit had a chance to make a tough catch, but instead the ball bounced off him. The other run scored on Parmelee's error. Kansas City led 4-2 and never trailed again.
The Royals added one in the seventh and two in the eighth, running the bases well.
Jeff Francoeur advanced from second to third on a grounder to third, waiting for Jamey Carroll to throw to first before making his mad dash.
"It reminded me of other people chasing balls we used to hit in the Metrodome," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Come to think of it, why was Span the only Twin not feeling well as this game unfolded?
"They caught a lot of breaks, but they were also aggressive," Span said of the Royals. "That's why they were able to win."