Twins win 5th straight; Royals lose 10th in a row
MINNEAPOLIS—Joe Mauer and Eduardo Escobar each had three hits and an RBI, and Jose Berrios allowed one run over seven innings as the Minnesota Twins won their fifth consecutive game, 3-1, over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night in Minneapolis.
Berrios (9-7), named to his first All-Star team on Sunday, struck out eight and didn't walk a batter while allowing six hits. Fernando Rodney, despite giving up a walk to Lucas Duda and an infield hit to Alex Gordon, got Alcides Escobar to pop out to end the game for his 20th save.
Trevor Hildenberger struck out two of the three batters he faced in a 1-2-3 eighth to record his 14th hold as Minnesota matched its season-best win streak.
Gordon finished with two hits and Alcides Escobar had an RBI double for Kansas City, which has lost a season-high 10 games in a row. The Royals are 4-28 in their past 32 games.
Kansas City wasted a quality start by Danny Duffy. The left-hander, who entered the game with a career mark of 4-0 and a 2.06 ERA in eight games and six starts at Target Field, pitched six shutout innings, allowing six hits and two walks while striking out nine.
It looked as if it might be a short evening for Duffy in the first inning as the first two Twins' batters, Mauer and Eddie Rosario, singled and Robbie Grossman walked two outs later to load the bases. However, Duffy rebounded to get Mitch Garver to strikeout to end the threat, one of seven strikeouts by the Kansas City pitcher in the first three innings.
The Royals took a 1-0 lead in the third when Gordon led off with a double to right and scored on a double down the right field line by Alcides Escobar.
Catcher Bobby Wilson, who came into the contest with a .134 average, started the Twins' comeback when he greeted reliever Tim Hill with a double to the gap in left-center to start the seventh. Mauer followed with a single to right, sending pinch runner Jake Cave to third. Cave then scored on Rosario's soft grounder to third.
Right-hander Kevin McCarthy replaced Hill and walked Brian Dozier. Eduardo Escobar followed with a line single to center to drive in Mauer and give the Twins a 2-1 lead.
In the eighth, with Brandon Maurer pitching for the Royals, Mauer's single drove in Jorge Polanco, who had walked and advanced to second on a single by Cave.