MLB: Twins waste Santana’s stellar debut
KANSAS CITY, Missouri -- Eric Hosmer had been struggling offensively -- .209 batting with no extra-base hits in his previous nine games. But Hosmer delivered in the clutch Sunday. Hosmer's walk off run-scoring double in the ninth scored Lorenzo C...
KANSAS CITY, Missouri - Eric Hosmer had been struggling offensively - .209 batting with no extra-base hits in his previous nine games.
But Hosmer delivered in the clutch Sunday.
Hosmer’s walk off run-scoring double in the ninth scored Lorenzo Cain as the Kansas City Royals beat the Minnesota Twins 3-2 for a split of the series.
Blaine Boyer (2-4) walked Cain on five pitches to start the Royals ninth. Left-hander Aaron Thompson was summoned to face left-handed first baseman Hosmer, who promptly laced a double to right on a 1-1 pitch.
“That’s the type of swing that can get you back and get you going again,” Hosmer said.
Twins right-hander Ervin Santana was impressive in his first start of the season, but had to settle for a no-decision.
Santana, who was suspended the first 80 games after testing positive for a performance enhancing drug, held the Royals to three hits and two runs over eight innings.
Santana struck out eight and walked three, one intentionally, in his Twins’ debut. He threw 58 strikes in 93 pitches.
“It was good, one mistake, but it was good,” Santana said. “I just keep battling and keep the ball down for the most part. Slider was working when I need to.”
Twins manager Paul Molitor liked what he saw from his rotation addition.
“I lot of things to be really encouraged about - economical eight innings pitch count in low 90s, plenty of velocity, had a little extra gear when he needed it, breaking ball was really, really sharp, his changeup was a little inconsistent,” Molitor said of Santana’s outing.
After only three minor league starts, Molitor thought it was wise to take out Santana after eight innings.
“Probably not too prudent to push him too far,” Molitor said. “Pitch count wise, he probably could have gone a little longer, but I didn’t think it was a smart move.”
Said Santana, “That’s not my decision. I want to keep pitching, but that’s the boss’s decision.”
Royal’s left-hander Danny Duffy, who was making his third start after coming off the disabled with biceps tendinitis, went 6 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on five hits, while striking out one and walking three.
“It feels like I’m back,” Duffy said.
Royals reliever Wade Davis worked a scoreless eighth to lower his ERA to 0.25, one run in 36 innings.
Greg Holland (2-0) yielded a single, but nothing else in a scoreless ninth to log the victory.
The Twins jumped out to an early lead for the fourth consecutive game at Kauffman Stadium.
Third baseman Trevor Plouffe, who had three hits Saturday, led off the second with a double. Miguel Sano, who has hit safely in all four games since his promotion Thursday, doubled over center fielder Lorenzo Cain’s head to bring home Plouffe.
Center fielder Aaron Hicks picked on a Danny Duffy curveball to lead off the Minnesota third and planted it above the Royals’ bullpen for his second home run.
The Royals got a run back in the third, which second baseman Omar Infante led off with his fourth walk of the season. Right fielder Jarrod Dyson bunted Infante to second. After falling behind in the count 0-2, catcher Drew Butera grounded a single into center to score Infante.
The Royals tied it 2-2 in the fifth when left fielder Alex Gordon homered off right-hander Ervin Santana. Gordon got enough of a Santana slider to send it just over the right field wall, an estimated 342 feet.
The Twins went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, but the Royals defense robbed them of at least three hits with spectacular catches.
“The defense they have over there is like Michael Jordan. It’s not fun,” Twins right fielder Torii Hunter said. “It felt like there were 11 guys out there between Cain, Escobar and Gordon. Those are two extra guys.”
“I’ve taken a lot of hits, so I respect the game. It hurts, but at the same time I respect it. It’s unbelievable.”
Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas left in the sixth inning for an undisclosed family emergency. Dusty Coleman replaced him.
NOTES: Royals RHP Yordano Ventura was pulled from a rehab start Monday for Triple-A Omaha and instead will throw a side session in Kansas City. That would allow Ventura to start Thursday against the Rays, replacing RHP Joe Blanton in the rotation. ... Twins manager Paul Molitor was told Royals manager Ned Yost is spending two hours a day on All-Star selection meetings. “I would love the chance,” Molitor said with a smile. ... Yost rested C Salvador Perez and RF Alex Rios. Drew Butera made his seventh start behind the plate, while Jarrod Dyson made his 15th start in right. ... The Twins will open a seven-game homestand Monday heading into the All-Star break. RHP Phil Hughes is scheduled to pitch Monday against the Orioles and LHP Wei-Yin Chen. ... The Royals will continue their 11-game homestand with RHP Edinson Volquez starting Monday against the Rays and RHP Alex Colome.