Jun 29, 2012 at 10:05 pm
MINNEAPOLIS (KNSI) – Kansas City Royals starter Luis Mendoza cruised to the finish line of his eight inning outing, retiring the final 13 Minnesota Twins he faced in a 4-3 Royals victory Friday night at Target Field.
With just two hits and double play ball from the Twins, Mendoza faced one hitter over the minimum in his final six innings as he struck out five en route to his third win of the season. Mendoza entered the game with a 4.95 ERA, but the Twins scored their lone run off Mendoza on a two out double from Ryan Doumit in the second inning.
Over their last three games the Twins have managed sixteen hits and three runs off of opposing starters in 22 innings. The only fireworks for the Twins came late, once the Royals went to their bullpen.
With Mendoza done after eight, things turned interesting. Denard Span and Ben Revere reached on a walk and an infield single to start the bottom of the ninth. Then, with a chorus of 'Joe-Joe-Joe' cascading from the stands, Joe Mauer laced a run scoring double down the left field line to make it 4-2. Josh Willingham then brought Revere in from third with a ground out to make it 4-3.
A Justin Morneau fly ball moved Mauer to third with the tying run as Trevor Plouffe stood in with two outs. But Plouffe swung first pitch an popped to foul territory to end the game.
The Royals took a 2-0 lead after their first two at-bats against Twins starter Brian Duensing. Alex Gordon reached on a bloop double to lead off the first then came home on a two out single from Billy Butler. Then in the top of the second, catcher Salvador Perez hit a solo home run to into the right field overhang.
A run in the bottom of the second for Minnesota cut the lead in half. After a one out single from Morneau, he traded places with Plouffe on a fielder's choice. Plouffe went to second on a wild pitch and scored on a two out single off the bat of Doumit. Prior to the game, Doumit signed a two year contract extension with the club worth 3.5 million dollars per year.
Duensing retired eight straight hitters leading into the top of the fifth. However, the first three Royals reached, netting a run on a Yuniesky Betancourt double. Anthony Swarzak came, recorded the first out of the inning, loaded the bases on an intentional walk the retired the next two leaving the bases full and holding off further trouble. Duensing's final line read four innings, eight hits, three earned runs and one strike out.
Swarzak pitched two scoreless innings following Duensing. Tyler Robertson allowed a run in two thirds of an inning while Kyle Waldrop and Alex Burnett held the Royals scoreless combining on the final seven outs.
Series continues on Saturday with a day night double-header. The Twins Scott Diamond(6-3, 2.67) takes on Jonathan Sanchez(1-3, 6.21) in the first game at 12:10. Then Minnesota sends Cole De Vries(1-1, 4.20) up against Luke Hochevar(5-7, 5.07) in the second game at 6:10. Twins are now 30-45, in last place in the AL Central.