Kansas City at Minnesota

Kansas City
W: J. Vargas (8-3) L: K. Correia (4-10)
HR: KC - R. Ibanez (4)   MIN - None

Royals' Vargas stymies Twins over seven shutout innings

CBSSports.com wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Kansas City Royals have played well away from home. They're consistently capable of winning with only a couple of runs.

If they can keep this up for the summer, they'll probably be right there in the pennant race at the end.

Jason Vargas threw seven scoreless innings, Raul Ibanez homered in his second game for Kansas City and the Royals beat the Minnesota Twins 4-0 on Wednesday.

"We've been running the ball out there and doing a good job of keeping our team in the ballgame, and when we're not the boys are stepping up and keeping us in the ballgame," Vargas said. "So we've got a good combo going on right now."

Vargas (8-3) allowed four singles and two walks while striking out five, allowing only two runners from a diluted Twins lineup to reach second base. Only five of their 21 outs against him were outfield flies.

"He's got all the pitches," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Mike Moustakas and Jarrod Dyson hit RBI singles in the second inning against Kevin Correia (4-10), and that was all Vargas needed. With Joe Mauer missing, placed on the disabled list before the game because of a strained muscle on his right side, the Twins didn't cause Vargas any trouble. They were shut out for the sixth time this season and lost for the seventh time in their past nine games.

"Obviously you have to score to win," said Correia, the league leader in losses. "It's tough. It's a good pitching staff they have. It's going to happen."

With rookie Yordano Ventura and now Danny Duffy joining the veteran trio of Vargas, James Shields and Jeremy Guthrie, who are all in the top 10 in the league in innings pitched, the Royals have a deep rotation. They've pitched well enough to make up for substandard seasons by several key hitters.

Vargas improved to 4-1 in his last eight starts, seven of which have counted as quality: six innings or more and three runs or less. Vargas also became the first Royals left-hander to win eight games or more before the All-Star break since Chris George in 2003.

"I thought he was splendid," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He was pretty much in complete control."

The 42-year-old Ibanez signed Monday with the Royals, the team that first gave him a regular spot in the lineup all the way back in 2001. He had two hits and two runs in this game, including the solo shot to right field in the eighth. Ibanez was released by the Los Angeles Angels last month.

Eric Hosmer, who walked three times, added an RBI single in the ninth inning for insurance.

The Royals won their fifth straight road series. After losing eight of 12 following a 10-game winning streak, Vargas put them back on track.

"Just typical Vargas, just going out, working, throwing strikes, letting his defense work," Hosmer said. "He really knows his game plan when he's out there."

Correia lowered his ERA to 4.95, the only time he has had that mark under 5.00 since his first start of the year, after surrendering six hits and two walks in six innings while striking out three. The right-hander completed exactly six innings for the fifth consecutive turn, and he has allowed two runs or fewer in four of those starts.

But the second inning was the one that hurt, when five batters reached. He struck out Billy Butler to finish the frame with the bases loaded.


The Royals swapped right-handed relievers Wednesday, calling up Casey Coleman from Triple-A Omaha and sending down rookie Michael Mariot, who gave up five runs Tuesday in his second appearance in as many days. ... Chris Parmelee played 1B and batted third for Mauer. He had two hits and stretched his hitting streak to a career-long 12 straight games. ... One of the runners to reach second base for the Twins was Sam Fuld, who was originally ruled out on a steal attempt to end the fifth inning. Gardenhire challenged the call, which was overturned. Gardenhire is 9 for 19 on challenges this season. ... With a rest day for Royals CF Lorenzo Cain, SS Alcides Escobar batted leadoff for the first time this season. ... The Royals have Thursday off before a three-game series in Cleveland against the Indians. The Twins host the New York Yankees for a four-game series.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game
Kansas City

R. Ibanez
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1

K. Correia
IP 6.0
H 6
ER 2
BB 2
K 3

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Kansas City Royals
Alcides Escobar, SS5110013 .295
Eric Hosmer, 1B2011301 .256
Billy Butler, DH5000036 .268
Alex Gordon, LF4000102 .267
Salvador Perez, C4010002 .283
Raul Ibanez, RF4221002 .167
   Lorenzo Cain, RF0000000 .309
Omar Infante, 2B4110001 .252
Mike Moustakas, 3B4011000 .186
Jarrod Dyson, CF4021010 .298
Jason Vargas, P0000000 .000
   Wade Davis, P0000000 .000
   Greg Holland, P0000000 .000
2B - Alcides Escobar (24, Perkins), Omar Infante (8, Correia)
HR - Raul Ibanez (4, Fien)
RBI - Eric Hosmer (36), Raul Ibanez (22), Mike Moustakas (31), Jarrod Dyson (11)
SB - Eric Hosmer (3, 2nd base off Perkins/Fryer), Jarrod Dyson (13, 2nd base off Correia/Fryer)
Team LOB - 10
DP - Moustakas-Infante-Hosmer
Kansas City Royals
Jason Vargas (W,8-3) 7400250 3.32
Wade Davis (H,16) 1000020 1.23
Greg Holland 1000110 1.93
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Vargas 111-67, Wade Davis 13-11, Greg Holland 21-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Vargas 8-7, Greg Holland 2-0
Batters Faced - Jason Vargas 26, Wade Davis 3, Greg Holland 4
Minnesota Twins
Eduardo Nunez, SS4000021 .305
Brian Dozier, 2B4000021 .232
Chris Parmelee, 1B4020000 .287
Kendrys Morales, DH4000012 .227
Josh Willingham, LF3000111 .236
Oswaldo Arcia, RF2000211 .205
Trevor Plouffe, 3B3010003 .241
Eric Fryer, C3000011 .176
Sam Fuld, CF3010000 .216
Kevin Correia, P0000000 .000
   Matt Guerrier, P0000000 .000
   Casey Fien, P0000000 .000
   Glen Perkins, P0000000 .000
SB - Sam Fuld (8, 2nd base off Vargas/Perez)
Team LOB - 6
Minnesota Twins
Kevin Correia (L,4-10) 6622230 4.95
Matt Guerrier 1000110 3.00
Casey Fien 1111001 2.60
Glen Perkins 1211110 3.41
HBP - Perez (by Kevin Correia)
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Correia 108-69, Matt Guerrier 21-12, Casey Fien 9-6, Glen Perkins 25-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Correia 10-5, Matt Guerrier 1-1, Casey Fien 1-2
Batters Faced - Kevin Correia 27, Matt Guerrier 4, Casey Fien 4, Glen Perkins 6
Game Information
Attendance - 28860
Game Time - 3:00
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Brian O'Nora, Second Base - Cory Blaser, Third Base - Pat Hoberg