Minnesota at Kansas City

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Minnesota (58-73)000000100150
Kansas City (73-58) «000000002250

Gordon's 2-run homer in 9th gives Royals 2-1 win

By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer
  •  

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Royals were trailing the Twins by a run in the ninth inning Tuesday night, and Kansas City manager Ned Yost was on the top step of the dugout, conferring with catching coach Pedro Grifol about the potential decisions he would have to make.

That's when Yost heard a voice pipe up.

''The bat boy who never says anything turns around and says, `Esky is going to get a hit and Gordo's taking him in the fountain,''' Yost said. ''I said, `OK. Sounds like a pretty good plan.'''

One that worked out perfectly, too.

Alcides Escobar led off with a blooper to shallow right for a single, and Alex Gordon swatted the second pitch he saw over the right-field wall to give the AL Central-leading Royals a dramatic 2-1 victory over Minnesota - and help them avoid their first three-game skid since mid-July.

''Got a slider over the plate and put a good swing on it,'' Gordon said. ''Really didn't have any offense going all night and was able to muster up something, so that was great.''

The Royals had been shut down all night by Ricky Nolasco, who scattered three hits over seven innings. But after going quietly in the eighth, they managed to break through against Perkins (3-1), who had converted 18 consecutive saves on the road.

''We had a really good game out of Ricky. I feel bad for him because he pitched seven shutout innings and threw the ball well,'' Perkins said. ''He and the team don't have anything to show for it. It's not a fun feeling.''

Wade Davis (7-2) earned the win with a perfect ninth inning in relief.

Danny Duffy was nearly as sharp for the Royals as Nolasco was for Minnesota. The left-hander allowed four hits and a pair of walks over 6 2-3 innings, but was in line for the loss after giving up a double to Brian Dozier and a slicing single to Joe Mauer to start the seventh.

The Royals had several chances to push a run across much earlier - and with much less drama.

Billy Butler was hit by pitches from Nolasco on two occasions, and the first time - in the second inning - he advanced to third before getting stranded. Christian Colon was left standing on second in the third inning, and Jarrod Dyson was picked off first base in the sixth.

Dyson was also picked off first base in Monday night's 1-0 loss to the Yankees.

The Twins also had opportunities to push across an early run. Trevor Plouffe grounded into inning-ending double plays in the second and fifth, and Danny Santana was picked off first base in the fourth. Eduardo Escobar was stranded at second base in the sixth.

Those missed chances proved to be important when the ninth inning rolled around.

''I don't think anybody saw that coming,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, ''a bloop and a blast and a big walk-off for them.''

SPARSE CROWD

There were only 13,847 fans in attendance, and the empty seats certainly caught Yost's eye. ''We're in a pennant race,'' he said. ''We've been working hard to try to make our fans happy and make our fans proud of us for a lot of years, and we'd like them out here to enjoy a night like this with us, because this was a special night. A fun night. I just wish there could have been more out here to enjoy it with us.''

NOLASCO'S BUG

Nolasco may have benefited from a warm, muggy night at Kauffman Stadium, where the temp at first pitch was 91 degrees. He'd been battling a flu bug that's been going through the clubhouse. ''The heat may have helped him,'' Gardenhire said. ''He sweat some of that out.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Twins: OF Byron Buxton, one of baseball's top prospects, is headed for the Arizona Fall League. Buxton is still recovering from post-concussion symptoms - primarily headaches - that he sustained after an outfield collision at Double-A New Britain on Aug. 13.

Royals: RHP Yordano Ventura will miss his start Wednesday night with soreness in his back, and 2B Omar Infante could miss a couple days with shoulder inflammation. ''Everybody is dealing with something this time of year,'' Yost said. ''My feet hurt.''

UP NEXT

Twins: RHP Phil Hughes (14-8, 3.65 ERA) tries to win his fifth straight when he faces Kansas City for the fifth time this season.

Royals: RHP Liam Hendriks makes his Royals debut after arriving in a trade from Toronto. Hendriks spent his first three seasons with Minnesota. ''It'll be interesting,'' Hendriks said of facing his former team. ''It could be really good or really bad.''

 
Copyright 2014 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

A. Gordon
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Minnesota

R. Nolasco
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 1
K 6
 

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Minnesota Twins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLG
Danny Santana, CF4010012.323.359.485
Brian Dozier, 2B4110010.236.342.417
Joe Mauer, 1B4011000.277.354.377
Kennys Vargas, DH4010010.333.364.525
Oswaldo Arcia, RF2000102.225.298.438
Trevor Plouffe, 3B3000013.251.317.415
Kurt Suzuki, C3000000.292.354.381
Eduardo Escobar, SS2000120.279.323.408
Jordan Schafer, LF3010000.221.316.294
Ricky Nolasco, P0000000.000.000.000
   Jared Burton, P0000000.000.000.000
   Glen Perkins, P0000000.000.000.000
Totals2915126    
Batting
2B - Brian Dozier (29, Duffy)
RBI - Joe Mauer (40)
PK - Danny Santana (2, Duffy)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Dozier-Mauer
Minnesota Twins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ricky Nolasco 7300160 5.62
Jared Burton (H,13) 1000020 4.27
Glen Perkins (L,3-1; BS,5) 0222001 2.77
HBP - Butler (by Ricky Nolasco)
Pitches-Strikes - Ricky Nolasco 97-62, Jared Burton 13-9, Glen Perkins 4-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ricky Nolasco 3-10, Jared Burton 1-0
Batters Faced - Ricky Nolasco 25, Jared Burton 3, Glen Perkins 2
Kansas City Royals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLG
Jarrod Dyson, CF4010011.291.347.350
Alcides Escobar, SS4110001.274.310.362
Alex Gordon, LF4122010.283.356.454
Billy Butler, 1B1000001.276.327.389
Salvador Perez, C3010002.263.298.409
Josh Willingham, DH3000023.221.348.422
Mike Moustakas, 3B3000012.207.266.385
Lorenzo Cain, RF3000020.299.336.405
Christian Colon, 2B2000110.355.412.548
Danny Duffy, P0000000.000.000.000
   Kelvin Herrera, P0000000.000.000.000
   Wade Davis, P0000000.000.000.000
Totals2725218    
Batting
HR - Alex Gordon (16, Perkins)
RBI - Alex Gordon 2 (59)
SB - Christian Colon (2, 2nd base off Nolasco/Suzuki)
CS - Jarrod Dyson (6, 2nd base by Nolasco/Suzuki)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Colon-Butler, Colon-Butler-Moustakas-Colon-Butler
Kansas City Royals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Danny Duffy 6.2411240 2.47
Kelvin Herrera 1.1100020 1.47
Wade Davis (W,7-2) 1000000 0.78
WP - Kelvin Herrera (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Danny Duffy 95-63, Kelvin Herrera 20-14, Wade Davis 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Danny Duffy 8-5, Wade Davis 2-1
Batters Faced - Danny Duffy 23, Kelvin Herrera 5, Wade Davis 3
Game Information
Attendance - 13847
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 91
Umpires - Home - Dana DeMuth, First Base - Ron Kulpa, Second Base - Ed Hickox, Third Base - Lance Barrett