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KC walks off Twins on Gordon homer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Alex Gordon hit a two-run homer in the ninth as the Kansas City Royals defeated the Minnesota Twins 2-1 on Tuesday night.

Third baseman Gordon homered on the second pitch from Glen Perkins (3-1) with shortstop Alcides Escobar aboard. Escobar opened the inning with a single to center.

Wade Davis picked up the victory, working a perfect ninth.

The Royals offense did nothing against Twins right-handed starter Ricky Nolasco.

Nolasco pitched like the Twins expected when they signed him to a four-year, $48 million contract in December, but has been disappointing most of the season.

Nolasco restricted the Royals to three singles, walked one, struck out six and twice hit first baseman Billy Butler with pitches in seven innings to lower his ERA to 5.62.

Right-hander Jared Burton worked a spotless eighth, but left-hander Perkins failed to hold it.

First baseman Joe Mauer’s seventh-inning single scored second baseman Brian Dozier, who led off the inning with a double, for the only run. Mauer has driven in 99 runs at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals threatened in the second when first baseman Billy Butler was hit by a Ricky Nolasco pitch and catcher Salvador Perez dropped a lazy fly ball into left for a single. Designated hitter Josh Willingham, who the Royals acquired from the Twins in an Aug. 11 trade, rolled into a double play and third baseman Mike Moustakas flied out to left to end the inning.

The Twins did not get a hit until center fielder Danny Santana singled to lead off the fourth to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, but Royals left-hander Danny Duffy promptly picked him off first. It was Duffy’s fifth pickoff this season and the 14th of his career.

Right fielder Oswaldo Arcia walked in the second and designated hitter Kennys Vargas singled in the fifth, but Duffy coaxed third baseman Trevor Ploufee to ground into inning-ending double plays in both innings.

Nolasco, who entered the game with a 2-4 record and 7.32 ERA in 10 road starts, restricted the Royals to two singles and no runs in the first five innings.

NOTES: RHP Yordano Ventura will miss his Wednesday start with a sore back. RHP Liam Hendriks will take Ventura’s spot in the Royals’ rotation. Hendriks, who was acquired in a July 28 trade with the Blue Jays, was 4-1 with a 2.83 ERA in five starts with Triple-A Omaha. He will officially be added to the roster Wednesday. ... Royals 2B Omar Infante was out of the lineup with shoulder inflammation. ... The Twins are sending CF Bryon Buxton, who is considered the top prospect in the minors, to the Arizona Fall League. Buxton was limited to 124 at-bats this season because of a left wrist injury and post-concussion symptoms. ... RHP Phil Hughes, who has won his past four starts, will start Tuesday for the Twins. ... The Twins top the majors with 135 runs in August.