KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In what has recently become the American League Central’s version of a cellar series, the Kansas City Royals managed to avoid the basement, after a 7-3 win over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals (40-53, 17-29 home) currently lead the last-place Twins (39-55, 20-25 away) by 1.5 games in the A.L. Central.
Staying out of last might not seem like much of a prize, but at the very least, it’s something positive that the Royals can hang their hat on.
Starter Luis Mendoza turned in a productive outing, and he got some early run support. Mendoza (4-6, 4.31 ERA) gave up three runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings, striking out four and walking two.
Center fielder Lorenzo Cain and second baseman Yuniesky Betancourt both provided RBI singles in the second inning to give the Royals an early 2-0 lead.
The Twins started to chip away at the Royals’ lead in the fourth. A sacrifice RBI by Joe Mauer got them on the board, and first baseman Chris Parmelee tied the game at 2-2 after grounding into a fielder’s choice.
The Royals regained the lead after adding a pair of runs in the fifth.
In the seventh, Cain smacked an RBI double off the wall in center field to give the Royals a 5-3 lead. Cain finished the game with 3 RBI’s.
The Royals tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the eighth, and reliever Aaron Crow (3.89 ERA) tossed two scoreless innings to earn his second save.
Newly acquired right-handed pitcher Jeremy Guthrie will make his Royals debut against Twins RHP Sam Deduno (5.59 ERA) in a game three rubber-match on Sunday afternoon at the K.