Royals End Skid, Best the Twins 4-2

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The Royals avoided their first five-game losing streak of the season with a 4-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night. Edinson Volquez continued his excellent season with a solid seven innings and Eric Hosmer contributed a majority of the offense with a bases-clearing double in the 1st.

If you fell asleep after the 3rd last night, you didn’t miss much. The Royals scored all four of their runs in the 1st and the Twins scored their two in the 3rd. After the 3rd inning, the teams combined for three hits, all singles. Volquez returned to his “Steady Eddie” self and gave the bullpen a much needed rest after several lackluster starts from the Royals during the four-game skid.

After two batters, it looked like we were headed to another rough outing. Aaron Hicks singled and Brian Dozier was hit by a pitch. But Volquez got out of it quickly, striking out Joe Maurer and inducing a double play from Trevor Plouffe, his first of two on the night. Volquez only gave up five more hits the rest of the night, three of which came in the 3rd

 The Royals offense reappeared after a brief hiatus; at least for an inning. All four runs were scored in the 1st and with some flair. Ben Zobrist and Alex Gordon lead off the game with back-to-back singles. Lorenzo Cain then drew a walk. Eric Hosmer came up with the bases loaded and no outs and with one swing, he cleared the bases. Kendrys Morales came up next and added his 39th double and 101st RBI of the season to make the score 4-0.

Twins pitcher Kyle Gibson settled in after that, giving up just two more hits in his complete game performance. Alex Gordon had both of those hits, who finished his night 3-4. Alex Rios returned to the lineup from the chicken pox with a 0-3 performance at the plate and was lifted late for defensive-replacement Paulo Orlando.

 The Twins’ runs were scored in the 3rd with an RBI single by Dozier and Maurer followed that up with a double to score Dozier. Minnesota couldn’t muster much other offense the rest of the game against Volquez, Wade Davis and Greg Holland. Volquez got his team-leading 13th win of the season. He is 3-1 with 31 strikeouts and a 1.27 WHIP in his last seven.

Holland finished the game off for his 30th save of the season, his first work since August 28. He threw a 1-2-3 inning, which should be expected, but Holland sports a 12.96 ERA this season when pitching of four or more days of rest.

Could this be a preview for the playoffs? Zobrist in the leadoff spot, Gordon in the two-hole, Alcides Escobar at the bottom? Although the team struggled after the 1st, this seems to be Ned Yost’s best lineup. The only debate left in Kansas City now is right field. Was the Orlando switch a premonition or just coincidence? Yost said earlier this week that he is done with these B-list lineups. Players are going to play. So we will see over this last month what changes, if any, will take place.

 

 

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Author: Dave Sullivan

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