KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Royals rode a strong bullpen effort and big nights from Alcides Escobar and Alex Gordon en route to a 5-2 victory, resulting in a series victory over Minnesota. The Royals have taken five out of six from the Twins over the past two weeks, just a part of the Royals’ recent resurgence.
The night started with a lot of excitement over the return of Danny Duffy. The left-hander labored through three-and-two-thirds innings, not surrendering many runs but racking up 93 pitches quickly. He exited the game after giving up six hits and two earned runs, he did strike out seven batters.
The bullpen came in and shut the door; five relievers didn’t yield a run and only allowed four hits in the final five-and-one-third innings. Closer Greg Holland picked up his 30th save and struck two batters out. Dating back to June 1, Holland has struck out at least one batter in 22 of his last 24 appearances.
Escobar and Gordon combined for four of the Royals’ five runs batted in. Gordon had two extra-base hits, including a home run in the fourth inning that tied the game. Escobar had two RBI singles, one that got the Royals on the board in the third inning and another that broke the 2-2 tie in the fourth inning.
Kansas City will host the Boston Red Sox for the first of four games starting on Thursday night. The first game is a battle of lefties as Bruce Chen will square off against Jon Lester. Chen has pitched six innings in his last four starts, a streak he will look to continue against a potent Red Sox lineup that has put up an MLB-best 590 runs. Kansas City remains four-and-a-half games out of the final AL Wild Card spot and eight-and-a-half games behind first place Detroit in the AL Central.