Vargas, Moss lead Royals to 11-3 win over Twins, salvaging series split
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jason Vargas snapped a personal four-game losing streak with his career high 15th victory, Brandon Moss homered and drove in four runs and the Kansas City Royals beat the Minnesota Twins 11-3 on Sunday.
Moss had an RBI double in a six-run second inning and a three-run homer in the seventh.
Eric Hosmer doubled twice among his four hits for his fourth straight multi-hit game. He has 12 hits in his past 15 at-bats to raise his average to .328.
Vargas (15-10) gave up a run and four hits over five innings. He was 2-7 with an 8.13 ERA in his previous 11 starts.
Vargas’ previous season-high was 14 victories in 2012 with the Seattle Mariners.
Byron Buxton tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly in the second for the only run against the Royals’ starter. Vargas worked out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth when Brian Dozier grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The Royals sent 11 men to the plate in a six-run second inning off Bartolo Colon (6-12). Hosmer led off with a single, his first of two hits in the inning. He scored a run and drove in a run in the second.
Alcides Escobar contributed a two-run single, while Moss, Alex Gordon and Whit Merrifield had run-producing doubles.
Colon retired only five of the 11 batters he faced for his shortest outing of the year.
Kenny Vargas belted a two-run homer in the Twins’ ninth.
The victory allowed the Royals to split the series after losing the first two games to the Twins. Kansas City is back at .500 (71-71) and moved them within 2 1/2 games of Minnesota for the second wild-card berth.
Escobar was hitting .179 on June 17, but is 81 for 278 (.299) in his past 75 games, to raise his average to .248. He went 6 for 13 in the series against the Twins.
Twins: LHP Adalberto Mejía (arm strain) will likely be activated and inserted into the rotation at the end of the week after tossing five one-hit scoreless innings Saturday for Double-A Chattanooga in a rehab start.
Royals: RHP Joakim Soria (left oblique strain) returned to Arizona to be with his daughter who had appendicitis surgery. Also, his wife’s due date is Thursday for the couple’s third child. The club had planned to activate Soria on Monday, but that will be delayed several days.
Twins: After a day off, RHP Kyle Gibson (9-10, 5.19 ERA) will start Tuesday against the Padres.
Royals: RHP Jason Hammel (8-10, 4.73) will start the series opener against the White Sox. Chicago will go with RHP Reynaldo Lopez (0-3, 4.84).