Lopez 3 outs shy of perfect game as Royals beat Twins 4-1

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Jorge Lopez was so calm on the mound that Royals catcher Salvador Perez didn't even realize the rookie had a perfect game going until the late innings.

The right-hander came within three outs of perfection before Max Kepler walked leading off the ninth and Robbie Grossman followed with a single in Kansas City's 4-1 win over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night.

''I was so close and I think my heart accelerated a little bit,'' Lopez said.

The 25-year-old made just his seventh big league start, his fifth for Kansas City since he was acquired from Milwaukee in the late-July trade that sent Mike Moustakas to the Brewers.

Lopez (2-4) retired his first 24 batters before walking Kepler on a 3-1 fastball. Grossman then smacked a clean single to center field on a 1-2 changeup.

''It was the first time he had to go to the stretch the whole game,'' Grossman said. ''He made some quality pitches against me. I just got enough of the last changeup and hit it up the middle, and luckily missed his glove.''

Lopez was removed after 110 pitches, 11 more than his previous high.

Ehire Adrianza hit a sacrifice fly off Wily Peralta, who retired Joe Mauer and Jorge Polanco on flyouts for his ninth save, completing the one-hitter.

Lopez struck out four and went to five three-ball counts before the walk, including his first three batters of the game.

''Last inning was when I got all the emotion,'' Lopez said. ''I should have not thought about it, like, `Let's just get another inning.' But that's experience from what we learned, and next time it will help get another win for the team.''

His perfect-game bid was preserved when Jorge Polanco's fourth-inning liner was caught by right fielder Jorge Bonifacio with a jump in front of the warning track, and when Jake Cave's liner was snagged by left fielder Alex Gordon with a sliding grab in the fifth.

''Gordy saw the ball, looked at (center fielder Brian) Goodwin and looked back up and couldn't find the ball,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ''He was like, `I'm just going to run and hope I find it again,' and he did and made the catch. When he told me that I was like, `OK, this might be one of those nights.'''

Lopez was trying to become the second pitcher since at least 1900 to throw a perfect game within his first 10 major league starts. Charles Robertson was perfect in his fourth start with the Chicago White Sox in 1922.

Kansas City has never thrown a perfect game and there haven't been any in the majors since Seattle's Felix Hernandez threw the 23rd in history, against Tampa Bay on Aug. 15, 2012. The gap between perfect games is the longest since Catfish Hunter's for Oakland against the Twins in 1968 and Len Barker's for Cleveland versus Toronto in 1981.

Bret Saberhagen pitched Kansas City's most recent no-hitter, against the Chicago White Sox in 1991. There have been three no-hitters in the major leagues this year, by Oakland's Sean Manaea, Seattle's James Paxton and a combined effort by four Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers.

Hunter Dozier hit an RBI single in the sixth off Jose Berrios (11-11), who gave up one run and three hits in six innings.

Whit Merrifield had a run-scoring single in a three-run seventh off Tyler Duffey and scored on Adalberto Mondesi's double. Gordon added an RBI single against Andrew Vasquez.

''I just sat there; I didn't want to move,'' Yost said. ''My heart started pounding I think in about the eighth inning. When we scored those runs it made me feel better. Really wanted to get the fifth run there to try and give us a little more leeway in that situation going into the ninth.''

RUNNING OUT OF TIME

Minnesota moved closer to elimination from the AL Central race. Cleveland's magic number is five for clinching a third consecutive division crown.

BERRIOS BOUNCES BACK

Berrios was winless with a 6.56 ERA in his previous five starts, with 13 walks in 21 2/3 innings. After making his first career All-Star appearance, the right-hander had gone 2-3 with a 4.69 ERA in eight starts since the break. ''We talked about the mental aspect of the game and I thought he was in a good place,'' Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. ''I thought he was in attack mode for the most part.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Twins: An MRI cleared 3B Miguel Sano of any issues with his sore leg stemming from a slide into second base last week. Molitor hopes Sano could be ready to return in the next couple of days. ... 1B-DH Tyler Austin (back) is out for the weekend series, but Molitor hopes the former Yankees prospect is able to return next week when New York comes to town. ''Maybe the Yankees will be a little bit of motivation for him,'' Molitor said.

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy (1-8, 5.13 ERA) will be activated from the disabled list to start Sunday's series finale. Kennedy has been out since July 10 with a left oblique strain.

Twins: RHP Chase De Jong will make his first major league start of 2018 and his first for Minnesota since he was acquired from Seattle on July 30 in a trade that sent left-handed reliever Zach Duke to the Mariners. De Jong was 0-3 with a 6.35 ERA in seven games for Seattle in 2017.

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123456789RHE
KC47-94
000001300480
MIN64-77
000000001110
  • W: J. Lopez (2-4)L: J. Berrios (11-11)S: W. Peralta (9)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
W. Merrifield 2B51210000.304.368.435.8036.0
A. Mondesi SS52210012.270.297.443.7409.5
A. Gordon LF50110023.239.317.359.6751.0
H. Dozier 3B40110021.236.288.397.6851.0
R. O'Hearn 1B30100000.261.352.620.9722.0
S. Perez C30000102.233.273.439.7121.0
J. Bonifacio RF41100022.244.322.372.6942.0
B. Goodwin CF30000121.245.345.392.7370.0
R. Herrera DH30000104.224.278.298.5761.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    J. Mauer 1B40000011.271.342.367.709-0.5
    J. Polanco SS40000001.271.328.404.7310.0
    E. Rosario DH30000000.292.328.486.8140.0
    L. Forsythe 2B30000000.239.315.306.6210.0
    J. Cave CF30000010.261.308.483.791-0.5
    M. Garver C30000010.260.331.406.738-0.5
    M. Kepler RF21000110.226.318.413.7311.5
    R. Grossman LF30100000.261.349.366.7161.0
    E. Adrianza 3B20010000.249.302.375.6781.0
      BATTING
      • 2B - A. Mondesi (10), J. Bonifacio (13)
      • RBI - W. Merrifield (52), A. Mondesi (21), A. Gordon (40), H. Dozier (27)
      • 2-Out RBI - W. Merrifield (22), A. Mondesi (7), A. Gordon (11), H. Dozier (12)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - A. Gordon 2 (2), H. Dozier, S. Perez 2 (2), R. Herrera 3 (3)
      BATTING
      • SF - E. Adrianza (2)
      • RBI - E. Adrianza (31)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Polanco
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - W. Merrifield (31), A. Mondesi 2 (20)
      FIELDING
      • PB - M. Garver (9)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Lopez (W, 2-4)8.01111403.721.2833.0
      W. Peralta (S, 9)1.00000003.961.4010.0
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Lopez (W, 2-4)8.0
      W. Peralta (S, 9)1.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Berrios (L, 11-11)6.03112503.831.1412.5
      T. Duffey0.23330109.001.32-5.5
      A. Vasquez0.21000100.001.80-0.5
      J. Curtiss0.200001015.432.570.5
      A. Reed1.01001104.701.431.5
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Berrios (L, 11-11)6.0
      T. Duffey0.2
      A. Vasquez0.2
      J. Curtiss0.2
      A. Reed1.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Lopez 110-68, W. Peralta 9-5
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Lopez 8-12
      • Batters Faced - J. Lopez 26, W. Peralta 3
      PITCHING
      • HBP - J. Berrios (12)
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Berrios 95-59, T. Duffey 20-12, A. Vasquez 14-10, J. Curtiss 7-4, A. Reed 22-11
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Berrios 6-7, T. Duffey 1-0, A. Reed 2-0
      • Batters Faced - J. Berrios 24, T. Duffey 5, A. Vasquez 3, J. Curtiss 2, A. Reed 5
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      KC47-94
      000001300480
      MIN64-77
      000000001110
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      W. Merrifield 2B51210000.304.368.435.8036.0
      A. Mondesi SS52210012.270.297.443.7409.5
      A. Gordon LF50110023.239.317.359.6751.0
      H. Dozier 3B40110021.236.288.397.6851.0
      R. O'Hearn 1B30100000.261.352.620.9722.0
      S. Perez C30000102.233.273.439.7121.0
      J. Bonifacio RF41100022.244.322.372.6942.0
      B. Goodwin CF30000121.245.345.392.7370.0
      R. Herrera DH30000104.224.278.298.5761.0
      Total3548403915-----
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        J. Mauer 1B40000011.271.342.367.709-0.5
        J. Polanco SS40000001.271.328.404.7310.0
        E. Rosario DH30000000.292.328.486.8140.0
        L. Forsythe 2B30000000.239.315.306.6210.0
        J. Cave CF30000010.261.308.483.791-0.5
        M. Garver C30000010.260.331.406.738-0.5
        M. Kepler RF21000110.226.318.413.7311.5
        R. Grossman LF30100000.261.349.366.7161.0
        E. Adrianza 3B20010000.249.302.375.6781.0
        Total271110142-----
          BATTING
          • 2B - A. Mondesi (10), J. Bonifacio (13)
          • RBI - W. Merrifield (52), A. Mondesi (21), A. Gordon (40), H. Dozier (27)
          • 2-Out RBI - W. Merrifield (22), A. Mondesi (7), A. Gordon (11), H. Dozier (12)
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - A. Gordon 2 (2), H. Dozier, S. Perez 2 (2), R. Herrera 3 (3)
          BATTING
          • SF - E. Adrianza (2)
          • RBI - E. Adrianza (31)
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Polanco
          BASERUNNING
          • SB - W. Merrifield (31), A. Mondesi 2 (20)
          FIELDING
          • PB - M. Garver (9)
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          J. Lopez (W, 2-4)8.01111403.721.2833.0
          W. Peralta (S, 9)1.00000003.961.4010.0
          Total9.0111140---
          PITCHERSIP
          J. Lopez (W, 2-4)8.0
          W. Peralta (S, 9)1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          J. Berrios (L, 11-11)6.03112503.831.1412.5
          T. Duffey0.23330109.001.32-5.5
          A. Vasquez0.21000100.001.80-0.5
          J. Curtiss0.200001015.432.570.5
          A. Reed1.01001104.701.431.5
          Total9.0844390---
          PITCHERSIP
          J. Berrios (L, 11-11)6.0
          T. Duffey0.2
          A. Vasquez0.2
          J. Curtiss0.2
          A. Reed1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - J. Lopez 110-68, W. Peralta 9-5
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Lopez 8-12
          • Batters Faced - J. Lopez 26, W. Peralta 3
          PITCHING
          • HBP - J. Berrios (12)
          • Pitches-Strikes - J. Berrios 95-59, T. Duffey 20-12, A. Vasquez 14-10, J. Curtiss 7-4, A. Reed 22-11
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Berrios 6-7, T. Duffey 1-0, A. Reed 2-0
          • Batters Faced - J. Berrios 24, T. Duffey 5, A. Vasquez 3, J. Curtiss 2, A. Reed 5
          • 9TH INNING
            Adrianza hit sacrifice fly to center, Kepler scored41
          • 7TH INNING
            Gordon singled to left, Mondesi scored40
            Mondesi doubled to deep right, Merrifield scored30
            Merrifield singled to right center, Bonifacio scored20
          • 6TH INNING
            Dozier singled to shallow left, Mondesi scored10
          • 9TH INNING
            • Addison Reed relieved John Curtiss
            • B. Goodwin: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Goodwin grounded out to first
            • R. Herrera: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Herrera walked
            • W. Merrifield: Ball, Merrifield singled to shallow right center, Herrera to third
            • A. Mondesi: Pickoff attempt to first, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Pickoff attempt to first, Ball, Strike swinging, Mondesi struck out swinging
            • A. Gordon: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Merrifield stole second, Gordon grounded out to pitcher
            • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • Jo. Lopez Pitching:
            • M. Kepler: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Kepler walked
            • R. Grossman: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Grossman singled to shallow center, Kepler to third
            • Wily Peralta relieved Jorge Lopez
            • E. Adrianza: Strike looking, Ball, Adrianza hit sacrifice fly to center, Kepler scored
            • Jo. Mauer: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Mauer lined out to left
            • J. Polanco: Ball, Polanco lined out to right
            • End of the 9th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 8TH INNING
            • A. Vasquez Pitching:
            • R. O'Hearn: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, O'Hearn flied out to deep left
            • John Curtiss relieved Andrew Vasquez
            • S. Perez: Perez lined out to right
            • J. Bonifacio: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Bonifacio struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Jo. Lopez Pitching:
            • L. Forsythe: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Forsythe grounded out to shortstop
            • J. Cave: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Cave struck out swinging
            • M. Garver: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Garver struck out looking
            • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 7TH INNING
            • Tyler Duffey relieved Jose Berrios
            • J. Bonifacio: Strike swinging, Bonifacio doubled to left
            • B. Goodwin: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Goodwin struck out swinging
            • R. Herrera: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Herrera grounded out to pitcher, Bonifacio to third
            • W. Merrifield: Foul, Ball, Merrifield singled to right center, Bonifacio scored
            • A. Mondesi: Foul, Ball, Strike (foul tip), Ball, Ball, Mondesi doubled to deep right, Merrifield scored
            • Andrew Vasquez relieved Tyler Duffey
            • A. Gordon: Ball, Strike swinging, Gordon singled to left, Mondesi scored
            • H. Dozier: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Dozier struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 7th (3 Runs, 4 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Jo. Lopez Pitching:
            • Jo. Mauer: Strike looking, Ball, Mauer grounded out to second
            • J. Polanco: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Polanco grounded out to shortstop
            • E. Rosario: Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Rosario grounded out to first
            • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 6TH INNING
            • J. Berrios Pitching:
            • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Strike (foul tip), Merrifield lined out to third
            • A. Mondesi: Mondesi reached on bunt single to pitcher
            • A. Gordon: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Mondesi stole second, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Gordon struck out swinging
            • H. Dozier: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike (foul tip), Mondesi stole third, Foul, Dozier singled to shallow left, Mondesi scored
            • R. O'Hearn: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, O'Hearn hit by pitch, Dozier to second
            • S. Perez: Strike looking, Perez grounded out to pitcher
            • Middle of the 6th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Jo. Lopez Pitching:
            • M. Kepler: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Kepler struck out swinging
            • R. Grossman: Grossman flied out to right
            • E. Adrianza: Strike looking, Adrianza flied out to left
            • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 5TH INNING
            • J. Berrios Pitching:
            • J. Bonifacio: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Bonifacio grounded out to shortstop
            • B. Goodwin: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Goodwin struck out swinging
            • R. Herrera: Strike looking, Herrera lined out to pitcher
            • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Jo. Lopez Pitching:
            • L. Forsythe: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Forsythe lined out to second
            • J. Cave: Ball, Cave lined out to left
            • M. Garver: Ball, Garver fouled out to first
            • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 4TH INNING
            • J. Berrios Pitching:
            • H. Dozier: Ball, Dozier flied out to right
            • R. O'Hearn: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, O'Hearn lined out to shortstop
            • S. Perez: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Perez grounded out to second
            • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Jo. Lopez Pitching:
            • Jo. Mauer: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Mauer struck out swinging
            • J. Polanco: Ball, Ball, Polanco lined out to right
            • E. Rosario: Strike looking, Rosario flied out to deep right
            • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • J. Berrios Pitching:
            • W. Merrifield: Ball, Foul, Merrifield grounded out to first
            • A. Mondesi: Strike swinging, Ball, Mondesi flied out to left
            • A. Gordon: Gordon flied out to left
            • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Jo. Lopez Pitching:
            • M. Kepler: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Kepler flied out to deep right
            • R. Grossman: Strike looking, Foul, Grossman grounded out to second
            • E. Adrianza: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Adrianza flied out to center
            • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 2ND INNING
            • J. Berrios Pitching:
            • H. Dozier: Ball, Ball, Strike (foul tip), Foul, Strike swinging, Dozier struck out swinging
            • R. O'Hearn: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, O'Hearn singled to deep right
            • S. Perez: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, O'Hearn to second on passed ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Perez walked
            • J. Bonifacio: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Bonifacio struck out swinging
            • B. Goodwin: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Goodwin walked, O'Hearn to third, Perez to second
            • R. Herrera: Herrera flied out to center
            • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • Jo. Lopez Pitching:
            • L. Forsythe: Strike looking, Strike looking, Forsythe grounded out to third
            • J. Cave: Ball, Strike looking, Cave grounded out to first
            • M. Garver: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Garver flied out to deep right
            • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 1ST INNING
            • J. Berrios Pitching:
            • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Merrifield grounded out to second
            • A. Mondesi: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Mondesi flied out to right
            • A. Gordon: Ball, Foul, Strike (foul tip), Strike swinging, Gordon struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Jo. Lopez Pitching:
            • Jo. Mauer: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Mauer grounded out to shortstop
            • J. Polanco: Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Polanco flied out to left
            • E. Rosario: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Rosario popped out to shortstop
            • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)