Twins stumble against Royals
MINNEAPOLIS — Backed by seven innings of one-run pitching from left-hander Jason Vargas, the Kansas City Royals defeated the Minnesota Twins 6-4 Monday night at Target Field.
The victory was the Royals’ third in the four-game series here and moved them to two full games ahead of idle Detroit atop the American League Central standings.
Vargas was nearly flawless through seven, allowing only a solo homer to Oswaldo Arcia in his final inning of work. Before that, it was three harmless singles. In between, Vargas retired 10 in a row through the middle innings, allowing only the four hits and a walk en route to his 10th win of the year.
The only concerning news to come from the night for the Royals was the early departure of catcher Salvador Perez, who left the game in the seventh inning with a sore right knee. Team officials declared him day-to-day, but the removal from the game is believed to have been precautionary.
His replacement, journeyman Erik Kratz, belted a solo home run on the first pitch he saw, then followed with another solo blast in the ninth inning for his first career two-homer game.
In the ninth, Royals righty Aaron Crow allowed a single and a walk ahead of Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe, who blasted his ninth home run into the second deck in left field, making it a two-run game and forcing Kansas City to use closer Greg Holland to get the final two outs of the game. He needed seven pitches to get Chris Parmelee and Kurt Suzuki in order for his 38th save.
After a disastrous first start in the majors Aug. 9 against Oakland, Twins right-hander Trevor May got a second chance — this time at home. And through four innings, May looked in control, allowing only a pair of singles and a two-out double.
But as they did in his first outing, the walks finally caught up to May in the fifth. After getting third baseman Mike Moustakas to line out to start the inning, May walked three of the next four hitters he faced. Three straight singles followed, scoring three runs and knocking May from the game.
May lasted twice as long as his debut, but still only made it through 4 2/3 innings, allowing the three runs on seven hits and four walks.
NOTES: Twins RHP Trevor May made his Target Field debut Monday. He made his first major league start Aug. 9 in Oakland, lasting only two innings, and entered in relief on Aug. 12 against Houston. ... Twins prospect OF Byron Buxton is suffering from headaches after a collision in a game at Double-A last week. Twins GM Terry Ryan said he doesn’t expect Buxton to play another minor league game this season, but should be ready to play in the Arizona Fall League in October. ... Royals 1B Eric Hosmer said he could return to Kansas City on Thursday for X-rays on his fractured right hand.