Josh Willingham’s Patience helps Royals batter Twins


For the 2nd straight time, the Kansas City Royals bounced back from a broken winning streak by winning their next game. Kansas City smacked the Twins 12-6 Sunday afternoon at Target Field in Minneapolis.

The game was pretty much over after a 7-run 2nd inning that knocked out Twins starter Tommy Milone and wiped out a first-inning 1-0 lead for Minnesota.

The win puts Kansas City 13 games over .500 at 68-55. The Royals also gained a game on the Tigers to go 1.5 games ahead of Detroit in 1st place in the A.L. Central. The Royals still have a 1 game advantage over Seattle for the 2nd wild card.

On the Mound

Jeremy Guthie put in 7.0 full innings, allowing 5 hits, 2 walks, and 4 earned runs with 7 strikeouts. Guthrie did give up 2, 2-run home runs, but came back from two rain delays.

Jason Frasor relieved Guthrie in the 7th, and gave up his first runs since coming to the Royals. Frasor gave up a double, home run, and 2 hard hit fly outs. Frasor went 1.0 innings, allowing 2 hits, and 2 runs with 1 strikeout.

Kelvin Herrera pitched clean a 9th inning with 1 strikeout to finish off the game.

At the Plate

Boy did the Royals have fun. Overall, Kansas City piled up 13 hits, 2 walks, and 5 extra- base hits—including 3 home runs and 12 runs scored.

The major damage came in the 2nd inning where the Royals hung 7 runs on Twins starter Tommy Milone. The inning turned on a key 2-run error by 2nd baseman Brian Dozier that took KC’s lead from 4-1 to 6-1.

Alex Gordon was the big dog on the day, going 2 for 4 with a triple and home run (13) , a hit by pitch in the game-changing 2nd inning, 3 runs scored, and 2 RBI’s.

Josh Willingham also went 2 for 4 with a double and a home run (13), 1 walk, 2 runs scored, and 2 RBI’s.

Both Billy Butler and Alcides Escobar chipped in with 3 hit games. Butler went 3 for 5 with 3 singles, 2 runs scored, and 1 RBI. Escobar also went 3 for 5 with 3 singles, 1 run scored, and 2 RBIs.

Mike Moustakas and Omar Infante were the only starters without a hit.

This and That

The Royals scored 7 runs (6 earned) in the 2nd inning without an extra-base hit. Kansas City bunched 5 hits, 2 walks, 1 Hit by Pitch, and 1 error to knock out Twins starter Tommy Milone.

Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie did a great job coming back from two rain delays to pitch 7 full innings that helped spare Ned Yost‘s tired pen.

Kansas City hit for the cycle in the Royals 2-run 7th, with Salvador Perez starting the fun with his 15th home run.

Oswaldo Acia robbed Omar Infante of a double on a line drive down the right field corner,. Acia speared the ball after a long run that probably saved a run with Alcides Escobar at first with 2 outs.

The Twins and Royals are in the midst of a 13-game string where they will play each other 7 times. After finishing their current 4-game series, the Twins will come to Kauffman Stadium for 3 games next week.

The Royals supported their pitching staff with some nice defense. Billy Butler speared a screamer down the line in the 6th that looked like it would go for a double. Mike Moustakas made a nice play on a hard hit grounder to end the 7th. Alex Gordon made a running catch at the wall to rob Joe Maurer in the 8th. Aoki made a sliding catch in the 8th on a liner to right.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

There are many players to choose from, including Alex Gordon, Alcides Escobar (who got the key bases loaded single that drove in KC’s first 2 runs) and Jeremy Guthrie who put in a workman-like 7 innings. However, Willingham has brought patience to the plate. His 2nd inning walk following Gordon’s HBP put Milone in real trouble that he could not escape.

Willingham’s home run also showed his patience in that he worked a full count, and then took advantage when reliever Brian Duensing hung a breaking pitch by slamming it 416 feet to right field. No one on the team is more likely to take advantage of a mistake, which brings a certain intimidation factor the lineup had been lacking.

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The Twins

Rookie switch-hitting DH Kennys Vargas had a big day for the Twins in a losing effort. Vargas went 3 for 4 with single, double, and a home run (3), 2 runs scored, and 2 RBI’s.

Up Next

The Royals and Twins finish their 4-game set Monday night . Kansas City will send Jason Vargas (9-5, 3.27 ERA) to the mound, while the Twins will counter with Trevor May (0-1, 12.45 ERA). Game time is 7:10 PM CST at Target Field in Mnneapolis.