Royals sink Twins behind 4-run first inning
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Edinson Volquez pitched seven resolute innings and Eric Hosmer smacked a three-run double in the first, allowing the Kansas City Royals to beat the Minnesota Twins 4-2 on Tuesday night.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Edinson Volquez pitched seven resolute innings and Eric Hosmer smacked a three-run double in the first, allowing the Kansas City Royals to beat the Minnesota Twins 4-2 on Tuesday night.
The Royals snapped a four-game losing skid, matching their longest of the season.
Volquez (13-7) gave the Royals their first quality start in six starts. He limited the Twins to six hits and two runs, walked none and struck out three, throwing 62 strikes in 91 pitches. His only hiccup was in the third when he allowed two runs.
Right-hander Kyle Gibson permitted the first four Royals hitters to score, but gave up zilch after that. The Royals managed just two Alex Gordon hits off Gibson (9-10) after the first inning.
Gibson, who threw 21 pitches before recording an out, went the distance for his first career complete-game. He yielded six hits and walked two - both in the first inning - and struck out four.
Wade Davis replaced Volquez and pitched a 1-2-3 eighth.
Closer Greg Holland, who was pitching for the first time since Aug. 28, worked a spotless ninth to log his 30th save in 34 opportunities.
Holland was aided by shortstop Alcides Escobar’s fielding gem for the first out. First baseman Joe Mauer hit a sharp bouncer up the middle that Escobar flagged down and threw out Mauer from his knees.
Gordon had three of the Royals hits and is 9-for-18 since coming off the disabled list.
The Royals scored four runs in the bottom of the first. Second baseman Ben Zobrist and left fielder Alex Gordon each singled on first pitches. Right-hander Kyle Gibson walked center fielder Lorenzo Cain on four pitches to load the bases with none out.
First baseman Eric Hosmer cleared them with a double to right-center on the second pitch, lifting his RBI total to a career-high 81. Designated hitter Kendrys Morales doubled on the first pitch, scoring Hosmer to put the Royals up 4-0 after just nine Gibson pitches.
It was the fifth time the Royals scored four or more runs in the first inning and Volquez has been the benefactor of four of them.
The Twins cut the lead in half with two runs after two out in the third. Center fielder Brian Buxton started it with an infield single and stole second. He scored on Dozier’s single to left. Gordon unwisely threw home, which allowed Dozier to take second. Mauer doubled home Dozier.
Notes: Twins rookie DH Miguel Sano, who struck out in 11 of his previous 14 at-bats, was not in the lineup. ... Minnesota LHP Glen Perkins is contemplating a second injection for his bad back after seeing a spinal specialist. ... Royals RHP Johnny Cueto missed a meet-and-greet appearance at an area barbecue restaurant Tuesday. A Cueto representative said the pitcher received treatment all day, causing him to miss the function. Manager Ned Yost said Cueto is physically fine. ... The Royals will open next season April 4 at home against the New York Mets, the first time they will start a season against a National League opponent. ... Twins RHP Mike Pelfrey and Royals RHP Kris Medlen are the probables for the series finale Wednesday.