The Kansas City Royals opened a 1.5 game lead over the Tigers with the Royals 6-5 win over the Twins in Minnesota Friday night. Ex-Twin Josh Willingham‘s double cleared loaded bases in Kansas City’s 5-run 4th inning that broke open the game.
The big inning made a winner of starter Danny Duffy (8-10) and gave the Royals their 3rd straight win.
The victory puts Kansas City 13 games over .500 at 67-54, and opened a 1.5 game lead in the American League Central over Detroit, who lost to the Blue Jays. Kansas City also continues to hold a 1 game edge over Seattle for the 2nd wild card.
On the Mound
Danny Duffy put in a solid, if short outing. Duffy went 5.1 innings, allowing 6 hits, 0 walks, and 3 runs (2 earned) with 1 strikeout. He left the game with the Royals leading 5-3 in the 6th.
Aaron Crow allowed 1 hit and got 1 out in the 6th.
Francisley Bueno got the final out of the scoreless 6th inning.
Kelvin Herrera pitched a clean 7th inning with 2 strikeouts.
Wade Davis added a scoreless 8th, though he allowed 1 hit with 1 strikeout.
Greg Holland wobbled but corrected himself to notch his A.L.-leading 37th save. Holland allowed a walk, then a double to Oswaldo Arcia that scored a run when Lorenzo Cain misplayed the ball in RF. Chris Parmalee then ground out to drive in a 2nd run. Overall, Holland gave up 1 hit, 1 walk, and 2 runs (1 earned) with 1 strikeout.
At the Plate
The Royals did most of their damage in their 5-run 4th inning, but added an important “insurance run” in 8th that turned out to be the difference in the game.
Trailing 2-0, Josh Willingham slammed a double to clear loaded bases to put Kansas City up 3-2. Willingham went 1 for 4 with the double, 1 run scored, and 3 RBI’s.
Mike Moustakas followed Willingham’s blow with an infield single, and Alcides Escobar picked up both runs with a triple. Escobar’s shallow single in the 8th inning scored Alex Gordon to give KC a 6-3 lead. Escobar went 2 for 4 with 3 RBI’s on the day.
Alex Gordon and Jarrod Dyson also checked in with 2-hit games. Gordon went 2-3 with 2 runs scored, while Dyson went 2 for 4 along with his 27th stolen base.
This and That
Kansas City is 13 games above .500 for the first time since April 26, 2003.
Despite the best back-end in baseball, the Royals are still only 17-21 in 1-run games—even after you include Friday’s win.
Eric Hosmer‘s x-ray Thursday showed his hand is not healed and he will not have it checked against until after Kansas City returns home from their current 10-game road trip.
KC Kingdom Player of the Game
With a nod to Alcides Escobar’s 2-hit, 3 RBI game, our pick goes to Josh Willingham for opening the floodgates on Twins starter Ricky Nolasco with his bases-clearing double into the right field corner.
- Josh Willingham
- Billy Butler – 8
- Jason Frasor
- Francisley Bueno
- Danny Valencia
- Christian Colon
- Raul Ibanez
- Jarrod Dyson – 2
- Lorenzo Cain – 6
- Johnny Giavotella
- Wade Davis
- Norichika Aoki – 5
- Salvador Perez – 6
- Jeremy Guthrie – 3
- Jason Vargas – 7
- Alex Gordon – 11
- Bruce Chen – 5
- James Shields – 10
- Yordano Ventura – 5
- Danny Duffy – 7
- Omar Infante – 4
- Mike Moustakas – 9
- Alcides Escobar – 6
- Eric Hosmer – 12
- Michael Mariot
Minnesota catcher Kurt Suzuki didn’t make an out on Friday, going 3 for 3 with 2 singles, a double, 1 walk, and 1 run scored.
The Royals continue with the 2nd game of their 4-game set in Minnesota. Yordano Ventura (9-8, 3.46 ERA) will pitch for Kansas City against ex-Yankee Phil Hughes (12-8, 3.88 ERA) for the Twins. Game time is 6:10 PM CST at Target Field in Minnesota.
|Nori Aoki RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.269||.338||.342||.680|
|Lorenzo Cain RF||1||0||1||0||0||0||1||.301||.340||.412||.752|
|Omar Infante 2B||5||0||0||0||0||1||5||.257||.296||.357||.653|
|Salvador Perez C||5||1||1||0||0||2||5||.267||.304||.413||.717|
|Billy Butler 1B||4||1||1||0||1||0||5||.277||.325||.384||.709|
|Alex Gordon LF||3||2||2||0||0||0||4||.280||.356||.432||.788|
|Josh Willingham DH||4||1||1||3||0||1||4||.210||.341||.399||.740|
|Mike Moustakas 3B||4||1||2||0||0||0||4||.203||.264||.388||.652|
|Alcides Escobar SS||4||0||2||3||0||0||4||.277||.313||.372||.685|
|Jarrod Dyson CF||4||0||2||0||0||0||4||.291||.336||.355||.691|
2B: S Perez (20, off R Nolasco); J Willingham (7, off R Nolasco).
3B: J Dyson (4, off R Nolasco); A Escobar (4, off R Nolasco).
HBP: A Gordon (8, by R Nolasco).
TB: J Dyson 4; A Escobar 4; J Willingham 2; A Gordon 2; S Perez 2; M Moustakas 2; B Butler; L Cain.
RBI: A Escobar 3 (40); J Willingham 3 (37).
2-out RBI: A Escobar.
Team LOB: 7.
With RISP: 5 for 19.
DP: 1. O Infante-A Escobar-B Butler.
E: D Duffy (4); L Cain (2).
SB: J Dyson (27, 2nd base off C Thielbar/K Suzuki); L Cain (18, 2nd base off R Pressly/K Suzuki).
|Danny Santana CF||4||0||0||0||0||2||5||.325||.363||.475||.838|
|Brian Dozier 2B||4||0||0||1||0||0||4||.236||.335||.420||.755|
|Joe Mauer 1B||4||0||1||0||0||0||4||.276||.347||.370||.717|
|Kennys Vargas DH||4||0||1||0||0||1||4||.296||.345||.426||.771|
|Trevor Plouffe 3B||4||1||1||0||0||0||4||.246||.317||.398||.715|
|Kurt Suzuki C||3||1||3||0||1||0||4||.307||.367||.395||.762|
|Oswaldo Arcia RF||4||1||1||1||0||1||4||.228||.304||.418||.722|
|Eduardo Escobar SS||4||1||1||0||0||1||4||.275||.315||.399||.714|
|Jordan Schafer LF||3||1||1||0||0||0||3||.189||.271||.245||.516|
|Chris Parmelee PH||1||0||0||1||0||0||1||.251||.304||.387||.692|
2B: K Suzuki (24, off D Duffy); T Plouffe (32, off D Duffy); J Mauer (19, off W Davis); O Arcia (11, off G Holland).
SH: D Santana (2, off D Duffy).
TB: K Suzuki 4; T Plouffe 2; O Arcia 2; J Mauer 2; E Escobar; J Schafer; K Vargas.
GIDP: O Arcia (5).
RBI: O Arcia (30); C Parmelee (22); B Dozier (52).
Team LOB: 5.
With RISP: 1 for 11.
DP: 1. J Mauer-E Escobar.
|Danny Duffy, W (8-10)||5.1||6||3||2||0||1||0||2.60||79||50|
|Aaron Crow, H (9)||0.1||1||0||0||0||0||0||3.00||7||3|
|Francisley Bueno, H (5)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2.49||2||2|
|Kelvin Herrera, H (13)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||1.59||15||10|
|Wade Davis, H (26)||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||0.84||18||14|
|Greg Holland, S (37)||1||1||2||1||1||1||0||1.86||22||12|
|Ricky Nolasco, L (5-8)||6||7||5||5||1||3||0||5.99||81||48|
WP: J Burton (1).
HBP: R Nolasco (1; A Gordon).