|Minnesota (21-33) «||2||1||0||1||3||1||0||2||0||10||12||2|
|Kansas City (23-30)||0||1||0||3||0||1||0||0||2||7||8||1|
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Royals had scratched and clawed their way back in the game, thanks in no small part to back-to-back errors by the Minnesota Twins.
They had two runners on and none out in the fourth inning Monday night when manager Ned Yost called for Alcides Escobar to lay down a bunt, which he did to perfection. The runners moved into scoring position and gave Kansas City a chance to take the lead.
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The rally effectively killed, Minnesota bounced back the next half inning with three runs to retake the lead, and the Twins never looked back in a 10-7 victory.
"It was the right play. We had battled back and tied the score," Yost said. "I was trying to get us ahead in the fourth inning going into the fifth. I felt like if we could take the lead going into the fifth inning we would be in pretty good shape."
So he elected to have Escobar, who is hitting .293, lay down a bunt to set things up for the light-hitting Dyson (.264) and the plodding Quintero (.234).
"At the time we were tied. I was counting on the two guys, either Dyson putting the ball in play with the infield playing back to give us the lead, or Q getting a big two-out hit," Yost said. "Neither one of those things happened."
Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham each hit two-run homers, and Trevor Plouffe also went deep off Royals starter Will Smith (1-2) to power the Twins. Jamey Carroll reached base four times and drove in a pair, and Ben Revere also had two RBIs.
The offense was enough to support Cole De Vries (1-1), lasted five shaky innings to pick up his first major league victory in his third career start.
"I was impressed he was able to hang in there," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Any time you get an opportunity to celebrate your first career win, it's a special deal."
The error by Escobar at shortstop in the first inning certainly wasn't one of them. Nor was the stretch of three walks issued by Royals pitchers in the sixth inning.
Of course, the Twins were having plenty of problems of their own.
They led 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth when Moustakas followed a pair of singles to start the inning with an RBI double. Jeff Francoeur proceeded to slap a grounder to Minnesota shortstop Brian Dozier, who let the ball go right through the wickets for a run.
Hosmer was next to bat and hit a grounder at second baseman Alexi Casilla, who stumbled all over himself for another error. The Royals wound up tying the game on the play.
Then came perfectly executed sacrifice bunt that ultimately ended the Royals' rally.
Smith retired Revere to start the fifth, but he walked Willingham before serving up a fat pitch to Morneau, who sent it sailing over the right-field wall. Plouffe's homer traveled nearly as far to left field and restored Minnesota's three-run advantage.
Smith was charged with seven runs on eight hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings, a somewhat sobering performance after he allowed two runs over six frames his last time out.
"When your offense gives you runs, you're supposed to go out there and put up a zero to help the momentum going," Smith said. "I just didn't do that. I gave it right back to them."
|Josh Willingham goes 2 for 3 with a homer and three RBI in the Twins' victory over the Royals. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
|Denard Span, CF||4||0||0||0||1||1||3||.291|
|Ben Revere, RF||5||2||3||2||0||0||1||.305|
|Josh Willingham, DH||3||2||2||3||2||1||0||.287|
|Justin Morneau, 1B||5||1||1||2||0||2||3||.234|
|Ryan Doumit, C||5||0||0||0||0||1||1||.255|
|Trevor Plouffe, LF||4||1||1||1||1||2||1||.200|
|Brian Dozier, SS||5||1||1||0||0||2||0||.243|
|Alexi Casilla, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||0||1||.237|
|Jamey Carroll, 3B||3||2||3||2||1||0||0||.238|
|2B - Brian Dozier (6, Smith)|
|3B - Jamey Carroll (1, Smith)|
|HR - Josh Willingham (11, Smith), Justin Morneau (10, Smith), Trevor Plouffe (7, Smith)|
|RBI - Ben Revere 2 (3), Josh Willingham 3 (39), Justin Morneau 2 (29), Trevor Plouffe (12), Jamey Carroll 2 (16)|
|2-OUT RBI - Ben Revere (1), Josh Willingham (20), Trevor Plouffe (7), Jamey Carroll (4)|
|SB - Ben Revere (6, 2nd base off Crow/Quintero), Brian Dozier (1, 3rd base off Smith/Quintero), Jamey Carroll (5, 2nd base off Crow/Quintero)|
|CS - Trevor Plouffe (1, 2nd base by Smith/Quintero)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|PB - Ryan Doumit (2)|
|E - Alexi Casilla (5, Misplayed grounder), Brian Dozier (7, Misplayed grounder)|
|Cole DeVries (W,1-1)||5||6||5||4||0||4||1||4.20|
|Alex Burnett (H,2)||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.45|
|Matt Capps (S,13)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.38|
|Pitches-Strikes - Cole DeVries 79-54, Alex Burnett 29-20, Jared Burton 12-9, Jeff Gray 19-12, Matt Capps 3-2|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cole DeVries 6-7, Alex Burnett 4-1, Jeff Gray 1-1, Matt Capps 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Cole DeVries 23, Alex Burnett 6, Jared Burton 3, Jeff Gray 5, Matt Capps 1|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Alex Gordon, LF||4||0||0||0||1||0||0||.239|
|Johnny Giavotella, 2B||5||1||1||0||0||0||1||.241|
|Billy Butler, DH||4||1||1||0||0||2||0||.293|
|Mike Moustakas, 3B||4||3||3||2||0||1||0||.285|
|Jeff Francoeur, RF||4||0||1||0||0||2||0||.278|
|Mitch Maier, RF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.200|
|Eric Hosmer, 1B||3||1||1||2||0||0||0||.216|
|Alcides Escobar, SS||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.293|
|Jarrod Dyson, CF||4||1||1||0||0||1||3||.264|
|Humberto Quintero, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.234|
|a- Brayan Pena, PH||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||.267|
|a-hit a sacrifice fly for Quintero in the 9th|
|2B - Mike Moustakas 2 (14, DeVries, DeVries), Eric Hosmer (9, Gray)|
|HR - Mike Moustakas (9, DeVries)|
|SF - Eric Hosmer (1), Brayan Pena (1)|
|SH - Alcides Escobar (3)|
|RBI - Mike Moustakas 2 (27), Eric Hosmer 2 (29), Brayan Pena (10)|
|SB - Jarrod Dyson (10, 2nd base off Gray/Doumit)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|Outfield Assists - Jeff Francoeur 1|
|E - Alcides Escobar (6, Misplayed grounder)|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Will Smith (L,1-2)||4.2||8||7||7||2||3||3||9.00|
|IBB - Willingham by Tim Collins|
|Pitches-Strikes - Will Smith 80-52, Louis Coleman 19-10, Tim Collins 22-9, Aaron Crow 30-20, Jose Mijares 17-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Will Smith 4-7|
|Batters Faced - Will Smith 24, Louis Coleman 3, Tim Collins 4, Aaron Crow 8, Jose Mijares 4|
|Attendance - 16531|
|Game Time - 3:07|
|Temperature - 90|
|Umpires - Home - Tom Hallion, First Base - Chad Fairchild, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Cory Blaser|