KC Royals Fall to Joe Mauer, Twins 8-5
Joe Mauer and the Twins offensive attack were too much for Jason Vargas and the KC Royals Thursday, falling 8-5 and dropping its first series of the season.
The KC Royals started the scoring with a two-run home run by Lorenzo Cain in the 1st, with the Twins countering in the 2nd with a two-run homer of their own from Kennys Vargas.
The Royals then reclaimed the lead the very next inning, as Cain singled, stole second, and was driven in on a two-out double from Salvador Perez.
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The Twins, however, tied it right back up in the bottom half of the 3rd on a Mauer ground out and took a 4-3 lead later in the inning on a Mike Moustakas error.
The Twins added on to their lead in the 4th with four-straight singles, the fourth being a two-run single off the bat of Mauer, which chased Vargas in favor of right-hander Jason Frasor.
Frasor entered the game with the bases loaded and nobody out, but got a line-out from Brian Dozier and double play from Vargas to get out of the inning without surrendering another run, down just two runs at 5-3.
Vargas stumbled through his three-plus innings before being pulled in the 4th, giving up five runs, four of which were earned, on 10 hits while striking out just one.
His counterpart Tommy Milone went for 5 1/3 innings, while giving up three runs on seven hits. The Royals collected their seventh hit with two outs in the 3rd, but were then held hitless for the next 5 1/3 innings until Mike Moustakas ended the drought with a double in the 9th.
The Twins increased the lead to 8-3 going into the 9th, behind a two-run Kurt Suzuki homer and a Mauer sac-fly, his third RBI on the day.
The KC Royals rallied in the ninth for two runs on a RBI double by Cain and a RBI single from Hosmer. However, Twins closer Glen Perkins entered the game following the Hosmer single and proceeded to get Kendrys Morales and Perez to ground out to end the game.
- Lorenzo Cain continued his early season dominance, going 3-4, with a home run and a double, while driving in and scoring three runs. He also made another non-human play in center field.
- Alcides Escobar‘s 17-game hitting streak dating back to last season was snapped with his 0-5 performance.
- Although it wound up not mattering in the long run, Frasor inherited a bases-loaded mess in the 4th and retired three-straight batters to get out of the inning without any more damage.
Next: Billy Butler returns to Kansas City
Oakland Athletics vs. Kansas City Royals, Friday, Apr. 17, 7:10 p.m at Kauffman Stadium; RHP Sonny Gray (1-0, 0.59 ERA) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (1-0, 5.14 ERA)